Nottingham reacts to plans for a new emergency department
Plans to upgrade the emergency department at Queen’s Medical Centre have been welcomed by people across the city.
Chris Leslie, Labour MP for Nottingham East, and Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South, support the plans to expand and upgrade the emergency facilities.
Mr Leslie raised the issue with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt during a debate in the House of Commons on Monday, January 9.At the time, he said: “Patients at Nottingham’s QMC emergency department are waiting on average for more than four hours. In the last month for which figures are available, 3,500 people had to wait for more than four hours in the emergency department. “We cannot go on like this, so will the Secretary of State agree to fast-track the capital we need to increase capacity at Nottingham’s emergency department?”
Mr Hunt responded: “I will happily take a look at that. Obviously, when it comes to the allocation of capital, we prioritise any projects that will help us to improve the situation in A&E departments and reduce the stresses.”
Speaking to the Post, Mr Leslie said: “I’ve been campaigning for QMC’s emergency department to get the capital investment we need to cope with the long-term increase in demand for urgent care that the current facilities are struggling to cope with.
“Clearer plans from the hospital now set out the resources we need to deliver 21st Century care and I will press the Treasury and Health ministers to come up with the funds we so desperately need to make this a reality.”
Similarly Ms Greenwood said: “It is an incredibly busy department. It’s daily on a much higher number of patients than it is designed for – that’s what is prompting NUH to consider expanding and building some new purpose-built facilities.
“I’m sure myself and all the local MPs would support them in a capital bid to enable them to have the facilities that they need to deliver the really exceptional care that their staff need to offer to all their patients.”
Severely injured patients admitted to the emergency department at QMC go on to be treated at the East Midlands Trauma Centre, which has saved 420 lives since it opened in 2012.
Adam Brooks, clinical director of the centre, said: “QMC is one of the country’s busiest major trauma centres, benefitting from the expertise of many of the country’s leading clinicians. Clinical outcomes for the East Midlands Trauma Centre are among the strongest in the UK.
“Looking to the future, we have to ensure our estate and the supporting infrastructure is modernised and meets the demand on our services. Many of our specialised services, including major trauma, will grow year on year.
“It is critical that we have an emergency department, critical care and theatre facilities that are fit for purpose for the future. Over the coming year we will begin important work with our clinical leaders and external partners to develop plans and business cases to create tomorrow’s NUH.”
Martin Gawith, chair of Healthwatch Nottingham, said: “Healthwatch recognise the pressure that our hospitals and the wider health and care system are currently under.
“As part of the review into the sustainability of local health and care we would welcome discussions on the benefits to patients that modernising and upgrading local care would bring.”
The Post asked hospital staff and members of the public about their experiences of the emergency department and their thoughts on the plans.
Lindsey Bald, 32, of Hucknall, works in the X-ray department at QMC. She said: “I don’t know much about A&E – I’ve never been there myself – but I think the expenses would ideally be spent on it because you’re always hearing things on the news about how overcrowded it is.
“The thing I worry about is that – because it would be taking such a long time – is people’s parking. It wouldn’t affect me personally but I know parking is already quite a hot thing for visitors at the hospital.”
Alan Moore, 56, of Hyson Green, said: “They need a new A&E, just to keep up with all the new technology I’m sure they have. I think it’s about time they fixed it up. I used to play on the scaffold when they were building it.”