£4.1million boost for Queen’s Hospital Emergency Department

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has received £4.1million from a £300million government funding pot to upgrade emergency department facilities ahead of the winter.

It will be spent on providing Point of Care Testing (POCT) in the Emergency Department at Queen’s Hospital, as well as expanding the current Rapid Access and First Treatment (RAFT) area.

Expanding the RAFTing area will improve patient flow through the department, increasing the number of patients who can be assessed at the same time while ensuring two metre social distancing can still be observed, keeping patients safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will also help to reduce the time it takes for ambulance crews to handover patients, getting patients the care they need more quickly and reducing the number of people in the Emergency Department.

Introducing POCT testing in the department, effectively laboratory blood tests performed outside of the lab, will mean patients’ results are immediately available. This cuts treatment delays while awaiting test results, meaning better overall health outcomes for patients.

Tony Chambers, chief executive at the trust, said: “Covid-19 continues to be an issue for us and we need to ensure we can provide timely care to our patients this winter, while also keeping them safe from the risk of infection.

“This government funding will allow us to reconfigure our department, ensuring social distancing can be observed, while increasing the number of patients we can assess, reduce ambulance handover times, and improve care for our patients with more rapid testing, leading to faster diagnosis, and getting the care they need quicker.

“It will also help us to free up the necessary capital so we can invest a similar amount in upgrading facilities at our Emergency Department at King George Hospital.”

The upgrade is due to be completed early next year, in time for the winter peak.

Mick Ferris

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