Hospital refurb is completed

A MAJOR hospital refurbishment has been completed to improve accident and emergency care.

Three new assessment bays have been provided at Wansbeck Hospital’s A&E department and a patient waiting area made more spacious.

However, the biggest development is the opening of a purpose-built Rapid Assessment and Treatment Unit (RATU), with 12 bays for patients suffering from acute medical illnesses, such as chest pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetic emergencies and gastrointestinal problems.

Patients will be seen by an acute care consultant, who will decide which specialist unit they will be transferred to.

People can expect to spend between 12 and 48 hours on the unit before admission to another ward or discharge from hospital.

The unit offers single-sex accommodation to ensure men and women do not have to share washing and toilet facilities, improving their privacy and dignity.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Director of Medical and Emergency Care Steve Russell said: “Patient numbers are rising daily and these improvements to our accident and emergency department at Wansbeck General Hospital mean we can treat patients in an environment which is much more spacious and modern.

“Over the last two years we have invested more than £1m to enhance toilet and shower facilities across our hospitals and this is part of that.”

Around 200 people from across Northumberland attend the hospital’s A&E department every day.