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MP praise for new services at Wansbeck

Friday, 11 July, 2014
MP praise for new services at Wansbeck

Two local MPs have praised work taking place at Wansbeck General Hospital to improve patient experience and prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital. 

In a visit to Wansbeck last week, Ian Lavery MP for Wansbeck and Ronnie Campbell MP for Blyth Valley, met with chief executive Jim Mackey for a tour of a brand new ambulatory care unit which is helping to reduce the number of people who are unnecessarily admitted to hospital.

Opened in September this year, the new facility means patients who would previously have been admitted as inpatients are now treated more quickly as day cases for things like blood transfusions and intravenous antibiotics.

Around 500 patients a month are now using the Trust’s new ambulatory care units after being referred via A&E or directly by their GP, meaning patients are triaged and treated much faster without any delays or overnight stays.

The MPs also visited a new purpose built Rapid Access Treatment Unit (RATU) – a dedicated facility situated next to A&E at Wansbeck where patients suffering acute medical illnesses are quickly triaged and treated. 

The visit also included a tour of a new Surgical Assessment Unit where a consultant-led team is on hand to treat emergency surgical patients for acute conditions such as Pancreatitis and Appendicitis, with the vast majority of people discharged to the comfort of home the very same day. 

Commenting on the visit, Ian Lavery MP for Wansbeck said: “Nobody ever really wants to stay in hospital if they can help it and I am very impressed with the investment in new facilities at Wansbeck which mean patients don’t have to stay overnight for things which can be treated more simply.  It is refreshing to see such an innovative approach to making services better for patients.

“It is always a pleasure to visit staff on the frontline of our local NHS staff who do a fantastic job and especially at this time of year when services are so busy.”

Ronnie Campbell, MP for Blyth Valley added: “Our local A&E teams are seeing more and more patients every year and it is very reassuring to see these new developments at Wansbeck which are helping people to be treated more quickly and without the need for full admission to hospital.

“This work is testament to all those on the frontline helping to deliver the changes in the way people use services but also the strong leadership and investment from the top of the organisation at Northumbria Healthcare.”

The praise for Wansbeck General Hospital comes at the same time as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes findings of its latest routine inspection report which has shown the hospital is meeting all essential quality and safety standards. 

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Work taking place at Wansbeck General Hospital is all part of our £200 million investment to improve local services and this positive feedback from our local MPs, the CQC and, importantly, patients themselves, is testament to all those working on the frontline to provide the best possible quality of care for our patients.

“We have invested heavily over the past two years to develop new facilities at Wansbeck and change the way we deliver services and it is great to see the positive impact on both patient outcomes and experiences.”