Progress for department

SIR - In last week s paper, a short article was carried about the concerns of a mother from the Welwyn Garden City area about her child s experience of being treated recently in the Lister s main A&E department. Since the Lister children s A&E service op

SIR - In last week's paper, a short article was carried about the concerns of a mother from the Welwyn Garden City area about her child's experience of being treated recently in the Lister's main A&E department. Since the Lister children's A&E service opened at the hospital back in 2002, it has never been possible to open overnight - something that as the lead clinicians for the service we have worked hard to resolve.

All that will change from August 1, when the Lister's children's A&E becomes a 24-hour service, with further developments to come on stream during September. This £350,000 investment being made by the Trust delivers the final decision made following the 2005 better care for sick children consultation that demonstrated the benefits of concentrating clinical expertise by bringing the service together on a single hospital site.

From August 1, that vision for an improved service will begin to be delivered with the new 24-hour specialist children's assessment unit at the Lister - which includes a dedicated children's A&E facility. For the first time, the Trust will have a single unit capable of supporting all children needing emergency treatment overnight, with both it and the QEII unit continuing to care for children during the day.

The only adults who will be in this expanded facility at the Lister will be children's families and carers, as well as those specialist doctors and nurses who will be caring for their children. This is the right environment in which they should receive their treatment and one that we are proud to see developed.

Dr ANDY RAFFLES

Clinical director for child health

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KATH EVANS

Lead Nurse/Matron for children's services