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New Northumbria hospital is inspiration to NHS, says Kate

Friday, 02 October, 2015
New Northumbria hospital is inspiration to NHS, says Kate

Northumberland’s new hospital dedicated to emergency care is an inspiration to the rest of the NHS, according to a woman from Newbiggin-by-the Sea who was treated there.

Kate Alexandra underwent emergency surgery at the new Northumbria hospital in Cramlington and was particularly impressed with the amount of contact she had with consultants during her stay and by the way she felt involved in her care throughout.

So impressed by her care, Kate wrote to chief executive Jim Mackey and has returned to the hospital to thank the team who looked after her and to record a video about her ‘inspirational’ experience.

Kate said: “I cannot congratulate the trust enough on this marvellous facility for our region and praise everyone concerned. Northumbria has set the standard that others can only dream of and I hope other parts of the NHS see it as an inspiration.

“Every single aspect of my experience felt totally patient-centred and a real effort was made to make my experience as pleasant and as effective as possible, given the worrying circumstances.”

Due to consultants being involved in Kate’s care throughout, arrangements were put in place to avoid using one particular drug which had led to complications in the past.

“I’ve never had so much contact with the consultant surgeons before, I saw them three times a day, it was phenomenal,” she said. “I felt completely listened to and reassured that I was in the best of hands.”

Kate, 64, said: “Every single staff member from ward hosts to senior nursing staff was warm, friendly and utterly professional.  It’s hard to single anyone out, but I was particularly struck by a young nurse called Stephanie Blake. I was blown away when I found out she was only 22. She is the very epitome of caring, backed up with brisk efficiency and will go a long way in her profession.”

Kate also praised the design of the Northumbria hospital.  “The design of the hospital is so radically different,” she said. “The circular-shaped wards and individual patient rooms are cleverly designed so that patients aren’t staring at each other and the huge windows bring plenty of light in.

“Outside the wards the curving corridors defy the usual feeling of institution and dampen the sounds of the hospital, making them strangely calming. Even the lifts are large and mirrored, making them much less claustrophobic.”

She was also impressed that she was contacted a couple of days after she left hospital to check she was recovering well.

The result of 10 years’ work led by clinicians, the new Northumbria hospital, which opened in June, treats people from across Northumberland and North Tyneside who are seriously ill or injured, speeding up specialist care and helping to save more lives and maximise chances of survival and a good recovery for more patients.

With emergency care consultants on site 24/7, round the clock access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and consultants in a broad range of conditions providing services seven days a week, it is at the forefront of new models of care in the NHS.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has highlighted Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a national leader in delivering seven-day services in emergency care, setting a standard to which other NHS trusts across the country should aspire.