Redevelopment follows the relocation of office space from the department to new facilities, leaving space to expand and improve clinical areas. This will result in a more spacious and welcoming environment to improve the patient’s experience, with new waiting rooms, resuscitation and minor treatment areas, as well as the development of separate waiting and treatment facilities for children.
As improvements take place within the existing area, there will be disruption as parts of the service are moved within the department in order for changes to be made in each individual area.
Kevin Clark, Lead Nurse for A&E said: "Since 2004 the department has seen a 13% increase in the number of people using A&E services at the hospital and now sees around 40,000 people a year. Changes in practice also mean that the current design is outdated and needs modernising. The changes that we are making will mean that access will be easier and clearer. The management of treatment will flow more smoothly through the department, reducing waiting times between booking in at reception and discharge or ward admission. It will also mean that patients are treated in a more welcoming and sensitive environment."
The main change for people attending A&E will begin in March 2010 when work begins on the current waiting and reception area. There will be a single entrance for patients and ambulances and, for around three months, patients will need to make their way through the department to a temporary reception area. The entrance to A&E, arrangements for people arriving by car and internal routing will be clearly marked. The next phase will start in the summer, with completion scheduled in December 2010.
Mr Clark said: " We will need to maintain our existing services while changes are made and we are asking that people bear with us during this period. Although we will do our best to keep services running smoothly, there is potential for disruption in services and we apologise for any inconvenience."
Notes to editors
The Accident and Emergency Department at Salisbury District Hospital was originally opened in 1993. Since 2004 the department has seen a 13% increase in the number of people using A&E services at the hospital and now sees around 40,000 people a year. Although the department has received positive feedback from patients about the quality of the services offered by staff, expansion, refurbishment and reorganisation of 'patient flows' should help to improve the service further for patients.