Improvement works underway at hospitals

A range of improvement works are underway at Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals to help tackle the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic and people arriving at their local hospital needing emergency care.

Last year it was announced that Southend Hospital was receiving £9.7 million and Basildon and Broomfield Hospitals £4.8 million, between them, to help improve services and facilities for winter and beyond.

All of which will mean that patients will get seen quicker, help free up patient beds and mean less patients are unnecessarily admitted to hospital. Importantly, these changes will also factor in greater social distancing during COVID.

A three-storey modular building is rapidly rising at the front of Southend Hospital, near the old main entrance. The new permanent build is set to be a phased opening, with the ground floor opening to patients in early April. It will include same-day emergency care (SDEC) facilities on the ground floor, a trauma and surgical assessment unit on the first floor and a patient discharge lounge on the second floor.

At Basildon Hospital, extra space has been provided in the Emergency Department through two assessment rooms and a suite of refurbished treatment rooms, which has also meant the creation of new fracture clinic facilities.

Meanwhile, at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, six treatment rooms, three of which are dedicated to paediatric patients, have been built to help ease pressure on the Emergency Department. A SDEC surgical unit has also been put up, helping increase social distancing and patient flow.

A new chemotherapy treatment area is also currently being created, which will allow the hospital to see more patients, whilst keeping them safely distanced.

Southend is receiving more funding than Basildon and Broomfield as its Emergency Department capacity is currently smaller and more work is required to increase what options Southend offers to patients when they first arrive at the hospital.