Milestone in £8m project to upgrade accident and emergency

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A MULTI-MILLION pound project to revamp the emergency department at one of the region’s biggest hospitals passes a major milestone today.

Hull Royal Infirmary is opening four new resuscitation rooms kitted with the latest technology. When complete, the hospital will have 10 - making it one of the largest resuscitation departments in the country. The emergency department, which is undergoing an £8m overhaul, was labelled “requiring improvement” after a Care Quality Commission inspection earlier this year.

The report found the hospital was facing “significant challenges” due to staff shortages and not enough capacity to deal with increasing admissions, with some patients waiting on trolleys in corridors for long periods of time.

The new bays have been tested in “as live” simulations and the design tweaked so nursing and medical staff can work most effectively in a situation where seconds count.

Each room has a set of glass doors rather than curtains so nurses can observe patients as they walk past, but patients cannot see across into other rooms. Solid walls also help cut down on ambient noise, which can cause confusion and distress for elderly patients.

Dr Mark Simpson, emergency care consultant, said their aim was not to have any patients waiting on any of the emergency department’s corridors, adding: “It has been a dream from the first day to have a department which you would be incredibly proud to have and every patient dealt with medically in their own room for privacy and dignity.”

In the late 1960s, the department saw 55,000 emergency patients, a figure which has more than doubled to over 120,000.