The Princess Royal has officially opened a new emergency floor at St Thomas’ hospital, writes John Cowley.
In a ceremony that took place on Tuesday, 30 October, Princess Anne was given a tour of the new department which brings together the emergency floor and the admissions ward.
Two wards were combined to create the new department on the ground level of the hospital.
The admissions ward moved from the ninth and tenth floors to the ground floor where the emergency floor was already situated.
The combination of these two departments makes it quicker for staff to transfer patients from admissions to emergency, and it now takes just five minutes to admit a patient instead of 30.
The Princess met staff who made sure that both departments remained open for 24 hours a day, while the redevelopment was carried out.
Dr Katherine Henderson, clinical lead for emergency medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ said: “I am incredibly proud of the new department and our dedicated staff so it was a real pleasure to show them both off to the Princess Royal.
“The old department was designed to see a maximum of 300 patients a day and we were treating an average of 380 patients a day when the rebuild started. Now we have a facility that means patients benefit from a brighter, more spacious environment and our staff will find it easier to deliver high quality care.”
The emergency floor also provides a dedicated children’s emergency short-stay unit which forms part of Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
The walls of the hospital are decorated with a colourful family of characters who act as guides to the hospital, and a new interactive app helps to explain the emergency process to best pain relievers.
Dr John Criddle, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine at Evelina London said: “Visiting an emergency department can be a frightening and intimidating experience for patients, especially children.
“The art project and app are also great opportunities for us to help create a more relaxed and fun environment.”