US-based universal health system Grady Health System has announced its plans to establish a freestanding emergency department in Fulton County, Georgia, US.

Being built in partnership with the Fulton County local authority, the facility is expected to increase access to emergency healthcare services in the metro Atlanta region of Georgia.

It will aim to provide round-the-clock care and be staffed by board-certified healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and clinicians.

Residents in South Fulton currently need to travel for up to 40 minutes to receive emergency care.

Located south of I-20 in Union City, the department will serve both adult and paediatric patients with serious injuries or life-threatening conditions.

The 20,000ft² facility will be equipped with 16 bays, dedicated areas for patient and staff support, imaging and laboratory services, and a pharmacy, as well as a helipad for critical transfers.

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It will also have a separate ambulance entrance to quickly admit patients brought in by the emergency medical services.

The emergency department is expected to start construction later this year subject to certificate of need approval, with opening expected in 2026.

The project is being jointly funded by the Fulton County and federal government.

Its development comes in response to growing regional demand for emergency services after the closure of nearby healthcare facilities, such as Wellstar’s Atlanta Medical Center South and Atlanta Medical Center.

Grady president and CEO John Haupert said: “As metro Atlanta’s population grows, so does need for medical care, specifically emergency care in South Fulton.

“The freestanding emergency department will allow us to serve this community by bringing exceptional care to patients right where they live.

“The residents in this area deserve the same level of quality care available in other areas, and Grady is proud to take this major step toward fulfilling that need.”