Work at QA Hospital “will make the emergency department more efficient and able to cope with higher demand”

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Queen Alexander Hospital QA CGI
CGI image of how the new building is expected to look

Work at Queen Alexandra Hospital will make the emergency department more efficient and able to cope with higher demand, health bosses have said.

Hampshire County Council has been given an update on the work to build a new emergency department (ED) at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra (QA) Hospital.

Building began in March 2023 with a national investment of £58m to replace the existing emergency department which was built in the 1970s.

Dr John Knighton, chief medical officer at the Portsmouth University Hospitals and the Isle of Wight NHS trusts, said that with the new unit, the hospital would become more “efficient” since the current layout has expanded and staff need to walk 20 minutes from one area to another.

Dr Knighton said: “In the new building, there will be ‘line of sight’ and common shared space so there would be easy staff movement around and a much more simple and visible job, and that will give efficiency in a way you can use clinical staff, particularly the more senior clinical staff.”

The new layout will include cubicles over curtained areas to improve infection prevention and control levels and space that can be adapted to provide either bedded or seated treatment space for patients who do not require a bed.

He also said that the new building will “undoubtedly” be able to respond to the rising demand. He said: “The physical rebuild of the ED will enable the emergency department team to see that all the groups of patients, those who can be deemed assessed, discharged and treated on the same day as well as those who have higher acuity care.”

Dr Knighton said that they are continually reassured through contractors that the work is on schedule and that they are “very hopeful that it will be before next winter”, with no concerns over staffing.

“We had no suggestion that there would be a delay at any stage of the process. I think we’re highly confident that it will be delivered at this time.”

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