£20 million boost for emergency care at St Thomas'

Posted on Monday 3 March 2014

Construction work got underway today (Monday 3 March) and will continue for the next three years while A&E and all other services run as usual.

The scheme will create an Emergency Floor on the ground floor of Lambeth Wing and East Wing at St Thomas’ to improve the care of emergency patients – it is due to be completed in summer 2017.

It will transform not only the A&E department but also the acute medical wards which patients are admitted to from A&E when they need hospital treatment.

Dr John Criddle, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine and clinical lead for the project, says: “We are redesigning our A&E and acute admitting wards to create a new Emergency Floor at St Thomas’.

“We will be relocating our acute medical wards, Sarah Swift and Victoria, to the ground floor of the hospital so they are nearer to A&E.

“Our plans also include a larger Urgent Care Centre and a completely refurbished A&E department with improved facilities for all patients requiring emergency treatment.”

Dr Simon Eccles, consultant in emergency medicine who is leading work to transform the emergency care pathway at St Thomas’, adds: “Our current A&E is simply too small – we treat an average of 380 patients a day and the department was designed to see a maximum of 300 patients a day. So patients will see a real difference in terms of an improved environment for their care.

“It is a major challenge because the new A&E will be built while the existing department is still very much open 24 hours a day. It will be a bit like changing the wheels on a car without stopping!”

Key features

Key features of the new Emergency Floor will include:

  • an improved and enlarged A&E department where patients with serious and life-threatening conditions are treated
  • an expanded Urgent Care Centre where patients with less serious conditions are treated by GPs and emergency nurse practitioners
  • 78 adult inpatient beds with en suite facilities
  • a six-bed Children’s Short Stay Unit for children who need to be admitted to hospital for up to 24 hours for monitoring or further treatment.

This major investment will bring together emergency services in a single area of the hospital in order to improve not only the quality, safety and efficiency of care but also the overall experience of patients requiring emergency treatment.

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