Emergency care in Brighton is set for a £48m overhaul, delivering better and more effective care for patients.
Plans have been agreed to press ahead with the investment at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH), which will see a radical improvement not just of the Emergency Department (ED) itself, but also to the way in which the local NHS supports people needing urgent care.
More space, more resuscitation beds, and a new three-storey treatment centre – the ambition is to completely transform the current ED, which is ageing and cramped, and increasingly not fit for purpose.
Dr George Findlay, chief executive officer of University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our ED teams do a fantastic job but the environment they work in is simply no longer good enough in terms of patient and staff experience.
“Now, with services moving into the new Louisa Martindale Building (LMB), we have a unique opportunity to improve the environment for our emergency and urgent care services, helping us create a better and safer place to be treated and a healthier and more rewarding place to work.”
The new ‘emergency floor’ will be more than twice the size of the current A&E. It will cover the existing ED area, additional space freed up by other services moving into the LMB and include a new-build Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). It will be complete by 2028.
Dr Andrew Leonard, chief of service for medicine division, said: “We have known for many years that the space is too small and over the years has become an increasingly challenging place to work. This is not only an exciting development for patients and colleagues but will also give us an opportunity to think about how we can better organise our care services in the new, larger site.”
Improving urgent and emergency care is a key area of work for NHS partners across Sussex. The investment for the improvement work is supported by NHS Sussex and national funding.
Allison Cannon, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS Sussex, said: “One of the main priorities for health and care in Sussex is to help the sickest patients get the emergency care they need as quickly as possible, and this investment is going to have a significant improvement on the care we can provide patients who need emergency and urgent care.
“Alongside the new Louisa Martindale Building, these positive plans show the real progress that is being made in Sussex to improve the health and care for our population and how real changes are being made for patients now and for the future.”
Chief executive of Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, Alan Boyd, said: “Healthwatch welcomes the plans to redevelop the existing Emergency Department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
“We have carried out numerous Enter and View visits to the department, speaking to patients and have made calls for the environment to be improved. We now look forward to working with the Trust to ensure that the patient voice is reflected. Once all the developments have been completed, we will have a modern, world-class hospital that will bring huge benefits to our city and beyond.”