The new emergency department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester, UK, is due to open on 16 October, as reported by BBC News.
The purpose-built, expanded facility is designed to reduce waiting times and prevent patients from being treated in corridors, which has been a problem in recent years.
Hospital officials have said that the new building will not solve all the hospital’s problems, but it will provide a better and more private environment for patients.
They have emphasised the need for continued efforts to enhance patient care and discharge processes.
Construction of the emergency department began in 2021 and has involved a £17.9m ($21.9m) investment.
Worcestershire Royal Hospital opened in 2002 and offers specialised medical services to patients in Worcestershire, including stroke care and cardiac stenting.
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The hospital has a capacity of 500 beds, serving a patient population of more than 550,000.
It provides a 24/7 primary percutaneous coronary intervention service and has an oncology centre, nine operating theatres, a neonatal intensive care unit and a cardiac catheterisation laboratory.
The hospital’s emergency department was initially expected to serve up to 45,000 patients a year, but this figure had increased to 75,000 by 2019-2020 and continued to rise during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, an inspection by the Care Quality Commission deemed the hospital’s urgent and emergency services inadequate, with patients waiting too long for treatment that was often carried out in corridors.
The redesigned A&E was originally due to open on 2 October this year, but this was delayed to avoid any potential impacts of strike action.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust board chairman Russell Hardy said the building “will not be the silver bullet” to address the ambulance stack and emergency department delays, adding that the trust still needed to improve its patient discharge times.