A multimillion-pound expansion of the Emergency Department at one of Kent’s largest hospitals has opened to patients.
The new facilities have been described as ‘fantastic’ and ‘much improved’ by managers at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) in Margate.
The £12m project includes new entrances, larger waiting rooms, additional treatment areas, and improved staff facilities.
It is part of a larger £30m scheme to improve ED facilities at the QEQM and the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
The East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which manages both sites, hopes the project will ‘help us see and treat more patients in a timely way, in much improved surroundings’.
Speaking in March, when the project was announced, Deputy Chief Executive Liz Shutler said: “Our nurses, doctors and build teams have worked hard to design a much bigger and better space to treat some of our sickest patients.”
The new facilities started being used by patients and staff on the morning of Wednesday (16 November).
The renovations also include a brand-new children’s emergency department, dedicated areas for patients with mental health needs, and special spaces for clinical teaching.
The second phase of the department’s transformation is due to start before then end of the year, which will include the construction of a new rapid assessment area.
Next year, an upgrade of the resuscitation area is due to begin. Managers say the overall scheme will mean 'significantly expanded' emergency care facilities at the Margate site.
New artwork showing scenes of Thanet coastline are featured throughout the new unit.
Last month, the East Kent Hospitals Trust was heavily criticised by an independent review of deaths in its maternity units.