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Medical unit will relieve pressure on hospital's A&E

The Nye Bevan building is nearly finished. Credit: Northampton General Hospital

A medical unit to help relieve pressure on accident and emergency services in Northamptonshire is preparing to open.

The £12m A&E assessment unit at Northampton General Hospital is almost finished.

It is designed to help assess patients without needing to admit them as in-patients, which should cut waiting times and reduce pressure on staff.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: "Our A&E department now experiences year-round sustained pressure.

"Last year, on average we cared for 335 patients every day – that’s a 6% increase on the previous year."

It is hoped the unit will relieve pressure on A&E. Credit: Northampton General Hospital

It is hoped the new service will free up A&E to treat those who are really in need of emergency treatment or have had an accident.

The spokesperson said: "By having the ability to assess patients in the Nye Bevan Building, we’ll reduce the reliance on admitting patients who need further assessment as in-patients on our wards.

"This in turn means we’ll have fewer cases of patients waiting in A&E for a bed to become available, the situation the NHS finds itself in during the winter months when there are simply more patients than available beds."

The first patients should be admitted in October.

The £12m building is set to open in October. Credit: Northampton General Hospital