New Urgent & Emergency Care Centre open

A new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre, including our new Adult Emergency Department entrance, has opened at Queen’s Medical Centre.

This is the most significant development for urgent and emergency care at Nottingham’s hospitals in 15 years, and aims to further improve patient and staff experience and the timeliness of patient care. The expansion of our Emergency Department and transformation of our urgent and emergency pathway has been possible thanks to £4.5million national winter capital monies, awarded to Nottingham earlier this year.

 

The changes - from Tuesday 18 December - include:

  • A new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre (UECC) – which will bring adult emergency patients through a single entrance at QMC
  • A new Urgent Treatment Unit, which will combine our minors’ service with the NEMS primary care service
  • An expanded Majors’ Department – with 50% more cubicle capacity to tackle overcrowding within the department (20 to 30 cubicles)
  • A new Lyn Jarrett Clinical Decision Unit, which will provide emergency care for patients who require a length of stay of up to 12-hours
  • Older Persons’ Decision Unit, which will provide specialist frailty services
  • A new Medical Ambulatory Care Unit
  • A dedicated entrance for Children’s Emergency Department

 

Alongside these changes, our Acute Medicine service is also changing to support the UECC development. In addition to the Medical Ambulatory Care Unit, Acute Medicine will also create a B3 Acute Medicine Assessment Unit (comprising Receiving and Admissions areas) and C5 Acute Medicine Short Stay ward.

The Trust has also implemented new and streamlined surgical pathways (for Head and Neck, Neurosurgery and Spines and Orthopaedics patients) directly from the ‘Front Door’ and is offering alternative pathways for patients to improve the timeliness of care.

Dr Mark Simmonds, Deputy Divisional Director for Medicine at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), said: “We need an Emergency Department and urgent care facilities that are the right size and design to meet the increase in demand we are experiencing year-on-year and to address the overcrowding in the department that our patients and their families all too often experience.

“Alongside the increase capacity in our ED (notably by 50% in Majors), we are also re-engineering all aspects of our Urgent and Emergency Care pathways. We presently have lots of access routes into our hospitals for emergency patients, which can lead to inconsistent practices and processes, and experiences for our patients.

“To maximise the safety of our patients and simplify our emergency pathways, our new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre will bring all emergency patients arriving at QMC through a single access point for a rapid acuity screening assessment by a senior decision-maker.

“At this screening, patients will be briefly assessed to ensure that they do not have immediate Emergency Medicine needs and then be redirected rapidly to the appropriate specialty assessment area.”

Dr Frank Coffey, Emergency Department Consultant and Head of Service, said: “What we have now is a much nicer environment for patients to receive care and treatment and for our staff to work in. We have worked really hard to maximise the involvement of patients and staff in the improvements we have made. We have listened carefully to this feedback and ideas, as well as national best practice so that we can design and develop urgent and emergency care services that are better for patients and staff.

“Our services remain very busy and winter is here. We ask the people of Nottingham to help us by considering if they really need to come to QMC or if there are other more suitable ways to get care. There are lots of ways to access NHS healthcare, including via GPs, local pharmacies, and via the non-emergency number 111 instead of 999. NHS 111 is free to call and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The city centre’s Urgent Care Centre is open 7am to 9pm daily and can help with any urgent problems that are not life-threatening, with no appointments needed.”