Major revamp of A&E planned at QA Hospital in Portsmouth as health trust bids for cash
PLANS for a revamped A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital are underway and will be revealed next month.
The hospital’s chief executive, Mark Cubbon, confirmed that a redevelopment team was already in place with a view to apply for funding soon.
Speaking at a health and adult social care select committee at Hampshire County Council, Mr Cubbon said: ‘When we opened the new QA in 2009 one of the areas we were not able to develop was the A&E department.
‘We have put together a project team to lead on a redevelopment of the A&E department. We need to make sure that we have a very clear plan of what a new site would look like.’
Mr Cubbon added that the hospital, based in Cosham, appointed the lead of this team two months ago.
‘By the end of June we will have an underlined business development plan.’
He continued, adding that the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust will need to apply for funding from a ‘national fund pool’, but was confident cash would be forthcoming.
‘I am certain that our plan will be looked on favourably.
‘However, the capital pot is small and other people, in positions like mine, across the country will also be looking to take for that pot.’
The news comes after the Care Quality Commission criticised the layout and size of the emergency department in February this year.
Inspectors reported that the design of the A&E was not keeping patients safe.
It was described as being too small and not allowing patients to be observed easily or for good communication between staff.
The report said: ‘The layout of the emergency department had been reconfigured over time to create more capacity.
‘But the size of the department and physical separation of the two major treatment areas did not readily allow good communication and oversight of the department.
‘The emergency department (ED) was overcrowded and patients were not being assessed and treated in a timely way. Significant areas of risk identified delays in initial 15 minute assessments and patients for Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) were being held in a queue instead of immediate access.’
Speaking after the report Mr Cubbon said: ‘It is positive the CQC has recognised the emergency department building as no longer fit for purpose.
‘Part of our plans to improve the experience of our patients is a large scale redevelopment of the emergency department and acute medical unit.’
The hospital has been under criticism in several CQC reports. In August last year its emergency department was rated ‘requires improvement’ while its medical care was dubbed ‘inadequate’.
Inspectors issued a warning notice to the trust urging it to improve safety, patient consent, dignity and respect, safeguarding and overall leadership.