Seven Million Pound Plans to Expand Charing Cross A&E Begin This Month

Hospital to gain new entrance and waiting area and more space for patients

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Plans to redevelop and expand the A&E department at Charing Cross Hospital are set to get underway by the end of May.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's Board heard at a public meeting held on 23 May that the redevelopment of the often overcrowded department, costing £7.2 million will:

•   increase the number of rooms in the urgent care centre from seven to nine

•    increase the number of ‘majors’ cubicles in the emergency department from 12 to 15

•     increase the number of resuscitation bays in the emergency department from five to eight

•     create two dedicated mental health rooms

•     expand capacity for ambulatory emergency care - same-day consultant review for patients with urgent or emergency health problems without the need for hospital admission.

The trust says this investment will reduce overcrowding and long waits at times of peak demand, providing more space for patients to be assessed and treated.

It will also create a common entrance and waiting area for all patients who walk-in rather than arrive by ambulance. These patients may be best treated in the urgent care centre, ambulatory emergency care unit or the emergency department – the shared space will help improve collaboration and joint working across the three services and allow for a more seamless experience for patients.

The trust adds that expanding the ambulatory emergency care unit will allow it to continue to increase the proportion of patients who are assessed and treated without needing to be seen in the emergency department or to be admitted to a ward.

The project is split into seven stages and will be fully completed by June 2019. The first four stages (relocating the fracture clinic to another area of the ground floor and expanding ambulatory emergency care, the urgent care centre and A&E ‘majors’) will be completed by November 2018, meaning that additional capacity will be available for this coming winter. 

The A&E will remain fully operational throughout the period of the redevelopment.

Works will pause during the winter months before the final phases are completed in 2019.

Professor Tim Orchard of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Professor Tim Orchard, divisional director for medicine and integrated care, said: "This is a significant investment for Charing Cross Hospital which will bring real improvements in care for our patients and a better working environment for our staff. 

"Our facilities have not kept pace with the consolidated rise in demand over recent years. Last year, we expanded St Mary’s A&E and we are now making it a priority to do the same at Charing Cross so that we have additional capacity in place in time for the coming winter.

"As health needs continue to change, linked to the growth in our older population and those with a number of long term conditions, our services need to evolve too. Our ambulatory emergency care service is an important part of this story, as are our frailty clinics and other new services being developed in partnership with our primary, mental health and community care partners."

May 25, 2018