Work Starts At Southampton General A&E

A scheme is under way to improve facilities for emergency department patients at Southampton General Hospital.

The five-month building project will increase capacity in the busy department, which sees more than 90,000 patients every year.

Additional medical and nursing staff are also currently being recruited.

The expansion scheme will create much-needed additional space where patients requiring urgent assessment and treatment can be accommodated.

Once the project is completed in October, there will be an extra three resuscitation support bays and four new adult treatment bays.

The scheme will also see the relocation of five short-stay beds and an en-suite bathroom, improving privacy and dignity for patients.

Meanwhile the children?s treatment area within the department is moving to a new area, which will be redecorated, providing larger, brighter accommodation as well as an additional treatment bed.

Dr Diana Hulbert, lead consultant in the emergency department, said: "This expansion scheme should make a big difference for both patients and staff.

"By creating extra space we shall be improving the patient experience and making life a little easier for our ED team.

"We shall do everything we can to minimise disruption while the improvement works go on but we do apologise in advance for any inconvenience this causes. It will be worth it."

Plans for a larger scheme including a new children's emergency department combined with a paediatric assessment unit and replacement six-bed resuscitation room are being finalised, with building work expected to take place in 2013/14.