Two Brighton and Hove Albion players cut the ribbon to open a new emergency unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital yesterday (March 27).
Anthony Knockaert and Bruno joined hospital chief executive Marianne Griffiths at the official opening of the new Emergency Ambulatory Care Unit (EACU).
The new combined ambulatory unit will see medical and surgical teams work alongside each other to treat emergency patients who do not need to stay in overnight. This allows such patients to move more quickly from initial triage to receiving treatment, the hospital trust said, freeing up space in A&E and on other wards for patients who are seriously unwell.
Talking to www.brightonandhovealbion.com, Albion captain Bruno said: “We’re here because it’s a big day for our hospital in Brighton. It’s a big improvement in facilities and that’s really good for the community.
“Of course, nobody wants to be here, but if you’re going to come to hospital and need treatment, the new facilities are spot on.
“It’s so tough to work in hospitals, because people are going through tough times and working so many hours - but seeing how happy the staff are to be working here, that’s also really important.”
Knockaert said: “Me and Bruno are really happy to be here for the opening of the new unit in A&E. We wanted to show our support and you can see it’s a really good area they’ve built.
“It’s important for them to have this new section of the building for the patients, to make them and the staff feel more comfortable every day.”
The Emergency Ambulatory Care Unit has nine treatment rooms, six treatment spaces, three procedure rooms, two side rooms and an IV therapy area that can accommodate 14 patients.
Ms Griffiths said: “We want our patients to get the best possible treatment. In opening the Emergency Ambulatory Care Unit today we are supporting the efforts of our staff and the care of our patients with significant improvements to the A&E environment.
“This light and spacious unit increases the overall capacity within A&E. It allows us to develop new, better treatment pathways for many patients and makes it easier to deliver seamless care across the department. It takes pressure off both the A&E front door and our overnight wards.
Steve Barden, lead consultant for the EACU said: “This combined unit will make a real difference to patients and staff. It allows us to transfer the care of patients between medical and surgical teams as seamlessly as possible, which improves patients’ experience. We can offer treatments to patients on a day case basis who previously would have been admitted, even though they didn’t require 24 hour hospital care. The potential of what we can offer will continue to grow now that the unit is a fully operational part of our emergency department.”
The EACU is the first phase in a broader programme of improvements to A&E at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, which will include reconfiguring and expanding other key areas in A&E.