A MULTI-MILLION pound project at Worthing Hospital is one of only four in the country to receive prestigious support from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and its Future Hospital Programme.
The £6.5 million new Emergency Floor due to open soon will now evolve in partnership with the RCP - an organisation representing 29,000 physicians dedicated to improving patient care nationwide.
The 67-bed unit will cater for mostly adult patients referred for emergency treatment by GPs or direct from A&E, which is located immediately adjacent to the new department.
Dr Roger Duckitt, consultant physician in acute medicine, said: “It is an enormous accolade to be selected as a development site by the Royal College of Physicians, and we are proud to be partnered with such a prestigious organisation.
“We believe it is testament to the forward-thinking and innovation of our Emergency Floor project which will help us to improve the care we provide to our patients, and adapt to the future needs of our changing and ageing population.”
The Emergency Floor aims to focus care around the patient, who will receive treatment led by one consultant, from a multi-disciplinary team, in a single setting.
The department is designed so patients benefit from the expertise of medical doctors, surgeons and elderly care specialists working together who previously operated more independently in different departments.
The aim is to provide better safer care which through early intervention will help reduce hospital stays – most people should be discharged in less than 72 hours.
A significant proportion will be admitted and treated without the need for an overnight stay in the Emergency Floor’s custom-designed ambulatory care area (ACA).
The ACA is designed to give patients the same access to investigation, treatment and specialists that in-patients receive, but enabling them to go home at the end of the day – something patients say they prefer.
When the Emergency Floor opens, urgent care for the elderly will become co-located with the hospital’s acute medical unit and surgical assessment centre.
It is this aspect of the patient-centred design that the RCP’s Future Hospital Commission are particularly interested in, and hope will have transformative effects upon patient experience and outcomes.
Dr Mark Temple, RCP Future Hospital officer, said: “The Emergency Floor at Worthing Hospital brings to life the principle of bringing care to the patient.
“By enabling medical specialists from different disciplines to work together in the same place, patients don’t have to be moved around the hospital, and will have truly joined-up care.
“Many will be able to have their diagnosis, tests and a treatment plan in the same day.”