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Paramedics get first glimpse of new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Monday, 18 May, 2015
Paramedics get first glimpse of new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Emergency care staff from North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) have today had their first glimpse inside the country’s first purpose-built dedicated emergency care hospital in Northumberland.

As final preparations continue towards the opening next month, the first in a series of visits for ambulance paramedics took place today with many more tours set to continue over the coming weeks.

Paramedics Dean Common, Elaine Office, Lee Collis, Richard Ilderton, Sharon Monaghan and emergency care assistant Neil Cuthbertson, were the first to be shown around the state-of-the-art emergency department where they will soon be bringing the most seriously ill or injured patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside. 

The emergency care staff from North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust took time out whilst off duty for the visit and were joined by non-executive director of NEAS Peter Wood.

The new Northumbria hospital has an impressive ambulance deck with room for multiple ambulances at any one time.  There is also a helipad, purposely located very close to the ambulance entrance of the hospital so that paramedics will be able to transfer patients quickly into the main emergency department hub.

Once the new Northumbria Hospital opens, the majority of seriously ill or injured patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside will arrive by emergency blue light ambulance.  Clinicians have worked closely with the ambulance service on the design of the emergency department which means patients can be safely and swiftly handed over to consultants who will be working 24/7. 

Dr James McFetrich, emergency medicine consultant at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is leading the paramedic tours around the new Northumbria hospital.  He said: “From the outset, clinicians have been at the forefront of designing our new specialist hospital and the emergency department hub has been purposely planned to ensure the effective flow and handover of patients from paramedics.

“It is fantastic to be able to show ambulance colleagues around our new facility as we get closer to the opening and let them see where they will be bringing our serious emergency cases in the future.  We have lots more visits planned and I really look forward to welcoming more ambulance staff over the coming weeks.”

Commenting on her first glimpse inside the new first-of-its-kind facility in England, ambulance paramedic Sharon Monaghan said: “I was really impressed with the sheer scale of the ambulance deck area and the entrance into the main emergency department.  It certainly has the wow factor and there are plenty of spaces for ambulances which will make things much easier when our teams are bringing emergency patients into the new hospital.”

Lee Collis emergency care clinical manager at NEAS said: “It is very exciting to see the finished hospital and we welcome the opportunity to show as many of our staff around as possible before the opening next month.  It is important that our emergency care teams understand the layout of the new emergency department and it’s great to have a look around and get a feel for how things will work once emergency patients start arriving.” 

Paul Liversidge, chief operating officer at NEAS, said: “We have been meeting regularly with Northumbria Healthcare in preparation for the opening of the new Northumbria hospital and will also continue to meet afterwards to ensure patients receive the highest possible level of care and transport during the transition to the new hospital arrangements.”

The new Northumbria hospital is the result of ten years’ work led by clinical teams at Northumbria Healthcare and will have emergency care consultants physically on site 24/7, as well as specialists in a range of conditions also available seven days a week.  This means patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside  who are seriously ill or injured will get to see the right specialist for their condition quickly which will not only save more lives but is widely proven to improve clinical outcomes.

People with less serious conditions who need urgent care will continue to be treated at 24 hour walk-in services at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals. These walk-in patients are expected to be seen more quickly in the future as staff will not be distracted or called away to treat more serious cases.