Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2016
The new Urgent Care Centre is based in the hospital's Emergency Department
Patients needing immediate treatment will be cared for in a new state-of-the-art Urgent Care Centre at St Thomas’ Hospital which opens its doors this week after an extensive refurbishment.
This is a major milestone in a £20 million scheme to rebuild the Emergency Department and create a dedicated Emergency Floor at St Thomas’.
The new Urgent Care Centre, where patients with less serious conditions are treated by GPs and emergency nurse practitioners, opens on Wednesday 31 August. The Emergency Department’s new entrance and initial assessment area opens on Thursday 1 September.
The Emergency Department at St Thomas’, one of the busiest in the UK, is being completely rebuilt to ensure that the 140,000 patients who come through its doors each year are cared for safely and efficiently in a brighter, more comfortable environment.
A clean, crisp design and artwork – specially commissioned by consultants Art In Site and created by a range of artists – helps patients navigate their way to the right area more intuitively. The new initial assessment area enables clinical staff to ‘stream’ patients needing emergency treatment and those with less serious conditions.
Architects ADP have also created a colourful children’s Emergency Department, which opened in July 2015, and children’s short-stay unit, which is due to open in November 2016. Children are treated in a separate area from adult patients.
The artwork has been funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity which provided a grant of just under £250,000 towards the project.
Clinical lead Dr Katherine Henderson says: “Our new facility looks absolutely fantastic – patients will benefit from a brighter, more spacious environment and our staff will find it easier to help patients and seek any support they need from colleagues.
“We have ensured that the architects worked very closely with our staff on every aspect of the redesign – they know what works best for them and for patients.
“Patients were involved in workshops to help us understand what they wanted from the new unit. For example, they selected the artists we are working with – we really have put our patients at the heart of this project throughout.”
Lee Patient, Emergency Department Nursing Lead for Transformation, explains: “We wanted the reception area to have the same feel as a hotel check-in desk – quietly efficient, professional and welcoming. Similarly, a new waiting and registration area offers patients a better, more efficient but calming experience.”
Construction work on the Emergency Floor development started in March 2014 and is due to be completed in 2017.
The next stage of the project will be to redevelop the Major Treatment and Resuscitation Area, where the sickest patients arrive. Once the project is complete, St Thomas’ will have arguably the most up-to-date Emergency Department in the country.