Despite two smaller scale expansions over the last two years and a longer term plan to build an Urgent Care Hub on the KGH site the trust is still – in the short term – providing significant amounts of emergency care in an area which is too small for the demand.
The new refurbishment and relocation programme aims to expand the size of the department within the hospital’s current footprint to help it better care for the needs of the 280 A&E patients it sees each day.
Over the last 20 years the number of patients being seen in A&E each year has more than doubled to 93,000.
Kettering General Hospital’s chief operating officer, Joanna Fawcus, said: “Despite the work we have done over the last two years to expand our A&E department it is clear more needs to be done to improve the facilities we have for urgent care patients.
“In the long term we hope our bid to develop a multi-million pound Urgent Care Hub will be successful so that we can future proof the service and meet the needs of our patients.
“In the short term we are looking at every possible way we can improve the existing department.”
KGH’s head of nursing for urgent and emergency care, David Anderson, said: “Essentially what we are going to do is to expand A&E into the area currently occupied by the adjoining Frank Radcliffe Fracture Clinic.
“This will enable us to create a self-contained area to provide care for the 115 ‘minors’ patients - patients with minor injuries and less serious medical problems - we see each day.
“By doing this it will create a better environment for patients and also help reduce waits to be seen because we will have more consulting rooms available.
“Having a separate area for minors patients we will also free-up more consulting rooms and clinical space in the main part of the department to enable us to better care for our more seriously ill (majors) patients – who often need to be admitted to hospital to be cared for by our specialist teams.”
To enable the expansion to happen the trust is moving two of its departments.
The Frank Radcliffe Fracture Clinic will move from its current location next to A&E to the Jubilee Wing - the current location of the trust’s dermatology department.
Arrangements have been made to move the dermatology department off site to modern and more spacious facilities at Prospect House in Lower Street, which also houses the Eskdaill and Weavers medical centres and Rolands pharmacy. It will continue to be called Jubilee Wing in its new off-site location.
Dermatology’s new location will have all of the clinic rooms, minor operations rooms, phototherapy rooms and consulting rooms, and equipment, they have at the moment in a more spacious and modern setting.
The trust is carrying out appropriate alterations and refurbishments to ensure the area is completely fit for purpose.
Dermatology is due move into Prospect House in late November and the service will re-open to patients as normal from early December.
All patients with appointments will be written to and told about the new arrangements and some appointments will be adjusted accordingly.
The Frank Radcliffe Fracture Clinic will move into the Jubilee Wing in late December once appropriate alterations have been made.
Again all patients with fracture clinic appointments will be written to about the new arrangements and there will also be posters and information on site.
The new location is only a short distance from the current Fracture Clinic location.
If all goes to plan A&E will move into the Fracture Clinic – which will have already had alterations made to make it fit-for-purpose - on December 22.