The Urgent Care Centre at St Thomas’ Hospital opened last Wednesday after an “extensive refurbishment”, as part of a £20m scheme to rebuild the Emergency Department and create a “dedicated Emergency Floor”.
At the new Urgent Care Centre, patients with less serious conditions will be treated by GPs and emergency nurse practitioners.
The Emergency Department at St Thomas’, one of the busiest in the UK, is being completely rebuilt to ensure that the 140,000 patients it sees each year are cared for “safely and efficiently”.
A “clean, crisp design and artwork”, commissioned by consultants Art In Site and created by a range of artists, is said to help patients navigate their way to the right area more “intuitively”.
A new initial assessment area “enables clinical staff to ‘stream’ patients” needing emergency treatment and those with less serious conditions.
Architects ADP have also created a colourful children’s Emergency Department, which opened in July 2015, and children’s short-stay unit, which is due to open in November 2016.
The artwork has been funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity which provided a grant of just under £250,000 towards the project.
Clinical lead Dr Katherine Henderson said: “Our new facility looks absolutely fantastic – patients will benefit from a brighter, more spacious environment and our staff will find it easier to help patients and seek any support they need from colleagues.
“We have ensured that the architects worked very closely with our staff on every aspect of the redesign – they know what works best for them and for patients.
“Patients were involved in workshops to help us understand what they wanted from the new unit. For example, they selected the artists we are working with – we really have put our patients at the heart of this project throughout.”
Construction work on the Emergency Floor development started in March 2014 and is due to be completed in 2017.
The next stage of the project will be to redevelop the Major Treatment and Resuscitation Area, where the sickest patients arrive.