Lister Hospital looks to the future with £15 million funding investment

Patients are set to benefit from an investment into Lister Hospital's emergency department

Patients are set to benefit from an investment into Lister Hospital's emergency department - Credit: East and North Herts NHS Trust

After a challenging year and a half of dealing with the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lister Hospital is looking ahead at how its services will develop in future.

Patients attending the emergency and urgent care services at Lister Hospital in Stevenage will soon be diagnosed and treated more quickly thanks to an investment in the department.

Last year, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust was awarded £15 million in funding to improve emergency and urgent care both at Lister Hospital and at the New QEII Urgent Care Centre in Welwyn Garden City.

Over the last five years, the number of people attending Lister Hospital's emergency department has risen by more than 15,000 per year - an average of 300 more patients per week.

The changes, expected to be completed in early 2022, include a triage and streaming hub which will provide a new 'front door' for Lister's emergency department, ensuring the needs of patients can be swiftly identified, even before they enter the hospital.

Extra space for assessment areas will also be created near to the emergency department, which should mean that many patients will be able to be seen, diagnosed, treated and allowed home on the same day.

The emergency department will have an expansion for children, with more cubicles designed to be flexible to handle seasonal increases in those requiring urgent care, and used as a space for minor injuries at other times.

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There will also be a dedicated space for patients with mental health emergencies, which is separate from - although very close to - the main emergency department waiting area at the Lister.

Finally, dedicated diagnostic services will be available to the hospital's urgent and emergency services, ensuring patients can get diagnosed more quickly.

Speaking about the benefits for patients, Dr Michael Chilvers, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's medical director, said: “This investment will mean that, despite an increase in demand, patients attending our emergency department will continue to receive high-quality, compassionate care.

“It is important that we develop our services to ensure that we meet the needs of the community – both during the pandemic and long-term.”

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