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New emergency department opens

The facility took two and a half years to complete. Credit: The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

The new emergency department at Leicester Royal Infirmary opened this morning.

The £48 million state of the art facility has taken two and a half years to complete and has been designed to reduce stress for its patients.

Last year, a record 240,000 people used the department and it is hoped the new building will better serve the city's growing population.

These nurses worked at the hospital in 1915. Credit: The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

We wanted to design an Emergency Department to meet the needs of the patients that we serve.

Given that a large number of our patients are frail and older, often with dementia, it was crucial that we designed a 'frailty friendly' department - the first of its kind in this country.

We looked at other hospitals here and across the world, drawing on research, expertise and best practice to create the right environment, for all of the patients we see.

– Ben Teasdale, Leicester's Hospitals Emergency Consultant
Phase two of the development will start in a couple of weeks. Credit: The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

The design includes rubber flooring rather than vinyl. Should someone fall, the impact is 15% less likely to cause a serious injury.

There are also purpose-built rooms for patients with dementia or mental health issues.

Phase two of the development will begin in a couple of weeks and will open in May 2018.

Credit: The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Other highlights include:

  • 13 ambulance bays and a separate entrance for ambulances with no public access.
  • A waiting area in the adults' department for 130 people and 94 in the children's department, which includes a teenage waiting area.
  • Seven treatment rooms for GPs and five rooms for ophthalmologists as part of the newly dedicated eye casualty.
  • Three high dependency bays in the children's emergency department.
This was the nurses' classroom circa 1920. Credit: The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

This new department is a massive improvement, not only for our patients but also for our staff.

We are really pleased with the new department that we have created. It will definitely help up improve the way we provide emergency care, tailored care to our individual needs of our patients.

– John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester's Hospitals