01:01PM, Thursday 26 May 2016
‘Enormous’ changes to the accident and emergency (A&E) department at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough were unveiled yesterday (Wednesday).
The £49m plans were outlined at a consultation event at the hospital in Wexham Street.
Artist impressions of what the site will look like, including the tiered patient system, were on display for the public to look at.
Built on the existing staff car park, the new A&E department will have three floors – each prioritised in terms of patients’ needs.
The ground floor will cater for patients who can be dealt with within four hours, while the first floor would have single rooms for patients whose treatment will take up to 24 hours.
Patients who require more than 72 hours of care will be taken to the third floor which will feature a CT scanner and ultrasound equipment.
The hospital merged with Surrey-based hospital Frimley Park to create the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in October 2015, which also includes Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot.
Janet King, director of human resources and corporate services at the trust, sits on the steering board for the project and said ‘not enough’ had been done to the department since the acquisition.
She added: “The main thing about the new emergency department will be privacy and dignity.
“It is all about different ways of working and getting patients flowing through the building.
“The plans look absolutely fantastic and it is going to be an enormous change for patients.”
The A&E department will contain separate children’s and minor injuries units as well as 36 individual rooms for major injuries.
Planning permission for the development is expected to be put forward to Slough Borough Council planning committee in autumn.
If this is granted, building work is expected to start in spring 2017 with the new unit completed in 2019.
As a member of the steering board, Ms King is in charge of overseeing the project.
She said: “My role is to ensure the new department is built on time and under budget.
“We are working hard to make sure these both happen.
“Our initial plans have worked out to be over-budget so we made some changes to save money.
“I am confident we will complete it within budget.”