£2.75m upgrade to Hinchingbrooke Hospital urgent care complete

Dr Kanchan Rege, chief medical officer, conducting the opening of the acute assessment unit and ambulatory care unit.

Dr Kanchan Rege, chief medical officer, conducting the opening of the acute assessment unit and ambulatory care unit. - Credit: NWAFT

A 2.75m redevelopment of the Urgent and Emergency Care services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital – including a new children’s department – is now complete. 

The project, which started in 2018, has seen a new ambulatory care unit and children and young people’s emergency department built. 

There is also an increase in rooms in the emergency department, separate purpose-built mental health rooms for adults and young people and a new purpose-built ambulance assessment area. 

Dr Pallav Bhatnagar, lead consultant for the emergency department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: “The redevelopment of our Emergency Department and Urgent Care services is fantastic news for our population.  

“It has given us additional space to work with. Now we can see more patients, more quickly and give them a better patient experience.” 

The Urgent and Emergency Care team has recently appointed more nurses and doctors and assigned new roles of physician associates and advanced care practitioners.  

These roles mean that some of the nursing and paramedic colleagues can now gain new qualifications, build on their experience and have an option of becoming clinicians.  

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They play an important part in the delivery of care and can relieve some of the pressures on the doctors as well as opening the door to new careers. 

Dr Bhatnagar, said: “Our staff are very excited with the new development and are looking forward to providing better and faster service to our patients.  

“Despite challenges of Covid-19, we are proud to have achieved our performance target of 95 per cent of patients seen and treated within four hours.  

“We are one of very few in the country to do this. I am incredibly proud of the team. They have worked really hard and pulled together, along with the rest of the hospital, wider NHS and social care, in delivering best possible care to our sickest patients during such a challenging time.” 

The Ambulance Assessment area has also created a space where paramedics can hand over patients to hospital staff quickly, reducing delays and start treatment earlier. 

The Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) is a central point for patients who have been referred to hospital by their GP for treatment, but who don’t require admission.