NEARLY £3m has been granted to help an emergency department prepare for winter, ahead of plans to refurbish the site.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, has been given the money from the Department of Health and Social Care’s winter capital funding.
The hospital applied for the cash to help with the redevelopment of A&E which had been described by chief executive Mark Cubbon as no longer fit for purpose.
With the money now available, PHT can start drawing up a business case for the site and prepare for the coming months.
They want to create a single point of access for adult and paediatric emergencies, redesign the layout to make it safer for patients, and improve the admission process.
Dr John Knighton, medical director, said: ‘I welcome this funding which will help us to improve the environment in the emergency department and reduce the risk of ambulance handover delays.
‘We have known for some time that we have particular space constraints within the emergency department.
‘We will make good use of this resource to help put us in a better place for winter while we identify a source of funding for a larger scale reconfiguration of our urgent care facilities.
‘This funding will be used as part of a wider plan being put in place across the local health and care system with support of our partners, to ensure there is sufficient capacity out of hospital to prevent patients from unnecessary delays in ongoing care.’
As previously reported in The News, MPs from across the area had written to secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock, calling on him to give QA Hospital some money ahead of winter.
Portsmouth MPs Penny Mordant and Stephen Morgan and Havant MP Alan Mak all penned letters last month.
Their message was echoed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a inspection of the hospital earlier this year.
In their report, the health watchdog described it as being too small and not allowing patients to be observed easily or for good communication between staff.