Threatened children's A&E at St Helier Hospital re-opens after £300,000 refurbishment
A children’s accident and emergency department (A&E), previously earmarked for closure under a health service review, has re-opened after a £300,000 refurbishment.
The scheme, funded by the Department of Health, has drastically improved the children’s A&E at St Helier Hospital.
It will allow the team to treat more patients each year – following a three per cent rise in demand for the hospital’s A&E services.
The department, which treats approximately 22,600 children and young people each year, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Despite these statistics the Better Services Better Value Review recommended last year that St Helier Hospital should lose its A&E departments, maternity and children's ward.
The review, which is being carried out for a second time, has recommended that two hospitals in the region should lose their A&E departments, maternity and children’s ward.
Karen Breen, the trust’s deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, said: "The children’s A&E department at St Helier Hospital is extremely busy, treating 430 patients every week. However, the old unit was outdated and was not an ideal place to treat children and young people.
"£300,000 is a lot of money to spend, but we’re really happy with the new department. The environment is so much better for children and their parents, and the new layout makes it easier for staff to do their job."
Dr Chloe Johnston, a paediatric consultant, said: “We are really pleased with the new unit. Doctors, nurses and other staff have worked with the Trust’s estates team to help to shape the design and layout, including deciding the bright, circus theme.
“Children and young people who come into A&E are often very stressed and upset. The new department will help reduce their fear and make it much easier to treat them.”
The new children’s A&E forms part of a £5.5 million upgrade of the hospital’s urgent care centre and main A&E department.