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Doors open to innovative clinical area to ease pressure in Emergency Department

Hereford Voice

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An innovative new clinical area at Hereford County Hospital which opened its doors this morning promises to provide same-day-care for emergency patients who would otherwise end up being admitted.

The Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) area is located next to the Emergency Department at the hospital and will transform the way non-elective patients (those who aren’t scheduled for treatment) are assessed and cared for.


“The dedicated SDEC facility will mean that patients presenting at the hospital with certain conditions can be rapidly assessed, diagnosed and treated without being admitted to a ward, and, if clinically safe to do so, will return home the same day their care is provided,” said James Bartlett, Consultant Acute Physician.

“In a nutshell, this new facility will help us to ensure patients are in the right emergency/urgent care setting very quickly which will mean a better experience for patients and a more efficient flow of patients at the hospital.”

The new facility has been created thanks to a £2 million government grant on the back of rising numbers of people turning up putting more pressure on the Emergency Department.

The key benefit the facility brings is the ability to “stream” patients as soon as they turn up at the Emergency Department. This means getting patients to the most appropriate place for their treatment straight away following a rapid clinical evaluation.

The hospital has successfully trialled a temporary version of the facility in recent months using staff borrowed from other areas. On the back of this, plans were drawn up at the end of last year and the submission of a successful a bid for the money submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care.

The new facility has been created in an area previously occupied by the Emergency Department admin team and hospital site team who have moved out and into Portacabins near the Emergency Department entrance.

The area now houses five extra clinic rooms and three cubical spaces.

Some of the money is also being used to reconfigure the Emergency Department itself and within the next few weeks, a separate clinical space for children will be opened within the ED.

“This is a proven model which will allow us to take huge strides forward in the way we deliver care to non-elective patients and improve our patients’ experiences.

“It’s taken a huge amount of effort in a very short space of time and I’d like to thank our staff, our PFI partner, Sodexo, and the contractors who have had to work in difficult circumstances allowing all our services to run as normal during the construction period while also in the middle of a pandemic,” added James.

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