The new Emergency Care Centre at South Tyneside District Hospital is set to enhance the emergency care patient experience and redesign, integrate and streamline the patient pathway.
Completed in January 2012, the £8 million centre was designed by Dunwoodie Architecture and Design and constructed by Robertson Construction (North East). The new centre boasts an Accident & Emergency department, an Emergency Assessment Unit and paediatric assessment rooms.
Award-winning comedian, writer and actor Jo Brand officially opened the new Emergency Care Centre on 20th January 2012. Jo Brand worked as an NHS psychiatric nurse for ten years before becoming a household name and told staff how impressed she was with the new facilities, particularly with regards to how the needs of the staff and patients had been carefully taken into consideration.
Lorraine Lambert, Chief Executive of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“The completion of the project achieves our ambition of bringing all of our emergency care services together to provide fully integrated care in a patient-friendly atmosphere with modern and efficient facilities. The new areas are equipped with the very latest technology, which will enable us to offer our local community the best possible care.”
Chairman of the South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Peter Davidson, added:
“We are very proud of our new Emergency Care Centre. Bringing all of our emergency care facilities together and integrating them allows real improvements in the delivery of care to our patients.”
Comprising approximately 2000 square metres of space, the single-storey development features aluminium curtain walling and render for the external finish with Marmoleum flooring, British Gypsum Glasroc Rigidur walls, Leaderflush doors, radiant heating panels and integrated plumbing services all enhancing the ability to maintain high levels of cleanliness and minimising any infection risk.
As part of this prestigious project, the manufacture and fitting of the blinds, curtains, cubicle track and window film was entrusted to Solo Blinds Contracts Division, a regular member of Robertson’s supply chain.
An existing entrance to the outpatient department was remodelled and all external works were redesigned in order to form a patient safety zone and an efficient ambulance drop-off area. In addition, new canopies and seating areas were installed along the new facade, whilst the entire infrastructure was considered and a one-way system was implemented.
Derek Shepherd, Dunwoodie Architecture and Design, commented:
“The project was a success due to the ambition and commitment of the NHS to providing a service and building that exceeds the guidance already produced by the NHS. This ambition was shared by the design team and the exceptional design solution was recognised by an experienced and committed contractor.”
The first stage of the development opened to the public in December 2010 and comprised 10 assessment rooms with state-of-the-art facilities for emergency adult patients. Further facilities included a dedicated emergency paediatric care area with five specialist assessment rooms, three beds and a specialist paediatric resuscitation area.
In November 2011, an Emergency Admissions Unit and a major injuries department opened to patients. This department will facilitate the assessment of patients who need to be evaluated over a longer period of time or who may require later admission. Once assessment is complete, patients will be directed to the appropriate ward.
Andy McLeod, North East Managing Director for Robertson Construction, said:
“Robertson Construction is delighted to be part of the team that has delivered this fantastic new assessment centre within the Emergency Care Centre at South Tyneside District Hospital. Working closely with the Trust, their advisors and hospital staff, we have managed to complete the project with minimal disruption to the current care provided by the original treatment facilities. Patients can now enjoy an integrated Emergency Care Centre.”