WHIPPS CROSS: New £11m A&E department opens

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Dr Alan Hakim in the new A&E this morning as staff prepare to open its doors for the first time. Dr Alan Hakim in the new A&E this morning as staff prepare to open its doors for the first time.

A NEW £11million A&E department at Whipps Cross Hospital has opened today.

The shiny new building, which has taken around 18 months to build, includes state-of-the-art facilities, a slight increase in capacity and gleaming new equipment.

Staff transferred over from the old A&E building next door at 8am Wednesday (May 9).

Dr Alan Hakim, the clinical lead for the project, told the Guardian the new building would greatly improve conditions for staff and patients alike.

He said: "The old A&E department was very cramped. It dated back to the 1970s, so this new building really brings things up to a 21st century standard.

"There's much better facilities and there's massive changes in the paediatric unit, which is like a mini A&E in itself.

"The resuscitation room now has six beds rather than four, there's better infection control and everything is modernised.

"We've always been excellent at saving lives in our A&E department but now we'll be doing it in a much better facility and with more space.

"For me this is about improving the quality of the experience".

The opening is the first of two phases of a scheme to modernise emergency admissions at the site in Leytonstone.

The old A&E department will now be demolished and be replaced by a new emergency medical centre, which will group together 70 beds that are currently spread out over four wards.

Construction is set to begin almost immediately.

The total cost of the scheme is £22million, with each phase costing about £11million each, Dr Hakim said.

The new A&E was approved in May 2010 long before the hospital's recent merger was formulated.

Dr Hakim said the building had been designed to cope with extra admissions if the proposed closure of the A&E department at King George Hospital in Ilford went ahead.

He added: "The staff are very excited and enthused about working in this new modern environment.

"There's been a few slight snags along the way but our target was to get it open before the Olympics, which we've done.

"I'm absolutely delighted, although I won't be able to breath a sigh of relief until a week or so. I'm just looking forward to seeing it up and running."

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Comments (3)

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12:46pm Wed 9 May 12

Nairn says...

Very nice and I really hope the service is a huge success. But at the end of the day it's about how it is run eg how clean it is kept and the quality of the staff who work there. People are any businesses greatest assets - not the buildings they work in.
Very nice and I really hope the service is a huge success. But at the end of the day it's about how it is run eg how clean it is kept and the quality of the staff who work there. People are any businesses greatest assets - not the buildings they work in. Nairn
  • Score: 0

12:41am Fri 11 May 12

noshposh says...

well i had to go there with my baby .i had an appointment at 10.20pm ,i got seen at gone midnight and in the waiting room there were more than 2 mums with their young children waiting since i was there,im sure babies and young kids were priority in the old department.Its smaller than the old one too,i was not impressed.
well i had to go there with my baby .i had an appointment at 10.20pm ,i got seen at gone midnight and in the waiting room there were more than 2 mums with their young children waiting since i was there,im sure babies and young kids were priority in the old department.Its smaller than the old one too,i was not impressed. noshposh
  • Score: 0

10:45pm Tue 5 Jun 12

Frank Leigh says...

Just visited the new A&E with a relative. Wasn;t looking forward to it, but was pleasantly surprised. It was packed but the staff told us how long we'd wait so at least we knew. In fact we were in and out in under two hours - keep up the good work
Just visited the new A&E with a relative. Wasn;t looking forward to it, but was pleasantly surprised. It was packed but the staff told us how long we'd wait so at least we knew. In fact we were in and out in under two hours - keep up the good work Frank Leigh
  • Score: 0

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