New Emergency Department opens for patients

A new £48million Emergency Department has now opened for patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The new purpose-built department will help Leicester's Hospitals deal with increased numbers of admissions.

Ben Teasdale, Leicester’s Hospitals Emergency Consultant and clinical lead for the new Emergency Department said: “We wanted to design an Emergency Department to meet the needs of the patients that we serve.

“Given that a large number of our patients are frail and older, often with dementia, it was crucial that we designed a “frailty friendly” department – the first of its kind in this country.

“We looked at other hospitals here and across the world, drawing on research, expertise and best practice to create the right environment, for all of the patients we see.”

“We have worked with Age UK, Vista and with academics that have experience of designing hospitals for improving healthcare outcomes to ensure that our facilities meet the needs of all of our patients.

“The design includes rubber flooring in the department rather than vinyl, which is less slippy and should someone fall the impact is 15 per cent less likely to cause a serious injury.

“There are purpose-built rooms where patients with dementia or mental health issues will be protected from harm whilst they are assessed and treated and the ability to provide more privacy and dignity to patients as they are treated.”

Sam Jones, paediatric emergency medicine consultant and Head of Service for the Children’s Emergency department at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “Our new dedicated Children’s Emergency Department has its own entrance on Infirmary Square and has been designed to meet the needs of both young children and teenagers.

“This new purpose built dedicated unit makes it one of the largest Children’s Emergency Departments in the UK, delivering both emergency and primary care services under one roof. It includes a specially designed waiting area for both young children and teenagers, a mental health room, a sensory suite for children with enhanced needs and a short stay unit.”

The new department is bigger and has a number of features to improve outcomes for patients:

  • 13 ambulance bays, an increase of 7 bays and a separate entrance for ambulances with no public access
  • A waiting area in the adults department for 130 people and for 94 in the Children’s department, which includes a teenage waiting area
  • 10 ambulance assessment bays – 3 more than previously
  • There are 24 bays in majors with the capacity to increase to 32 in the future
  • In adults there are seven treatment rooms for GPs and five rooms for ophthalmologists as part of a newly dedicated eye casualty; in children’s there are four primary care treatment rooms
  • Three high-dependency bays in our children’s emergency department – something we do not currently have
  • A new CSSU (Children’s Short Stay Unit), which will treat and monitor children who are likely to go home in less than 18 hours
  • We have rooms specially designed to treat patients with dementia and mental health issues, bariatric patients and those patients who may be infectious to others.

John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “This new department is a massive improvement not only for our patients but also for our staff. The existing department is often overcrowded which makes it very difficult to provide a good experience for patients and is a difficult environment in which to work – it was built to treat 140,000 patients a year and is currently seeing around 237,000 a year.

“The new department not only provides greater capacity overall; the space in which to treat each patient is much larger and the quality of the facilities bears no resemblance to the existing department.”

“We are really pleased with the new department that we have created. It will definitely help us improve the way we provide emergency care, tailored care to our individual needs of our patients.”

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