‘Point of Care Testing Hot Lab’ introduced at Queen’s Hospital Emergency Department.

  • Major Glass and Glazing

Queen’s Hospital in Romford have opened new facilities in their Emergency Department (ED) including a larger rest area for their staff with better facilities, training rooms, and Point of Care Testing (POCT) hot lab, which will speed up treatment times for their patients.

It was officially opened on Wednesday 24 March, with recently retired Chief Operating Officer Shelagh Smith returning to cut the ribbon.

She said: “It was lovely to come back for this. I’m so proud to see something which we’ve talked about for so long being delivered, against all odds due to the pandemic.

“It’s been a real team effort between our own teams and our partners. It’s brilliant and will make a huge difference not only to patient experience, but also in providing a better environment for our staff.”

The hot lab in the ED department means patients’ results are immediately available, speeding up clinical decision making and cutting treatment delays. This reduces time our patients spend in ED while also leading to better overall health outcomes and improved patient experience, and will improve our performance against the national four-hour standard.

The works have also given the staff much better facilities, including a large, open plan staff wellbeing room with a kitchen, showers and changing areas. The new area also boasts office space for the ED team and training rooms.

Ignatius Postma, the Clinical Lead for Emergency Care, said: “This is great for our staff. We have a massive rest area, much bigger than we had before, and we are sharing it with our colleagues in acute medicine, which will help with team building.

“We now have showers, which is great as we have the option to shower before going home after a long shift, and teaching rooms. And the lab will make a huge difference to our patients and waiting times.”

The work was funded through a £4.1m grant from NHS England, part of a £300m funding pot to improve urgent and emergency care across the country. It is another stage in how we are upgrading our ED, earlier this year we opened an expanded Rapid Assessment and First Treatment area with eight additional bedded bays and a ‘fit to sit’ area for up to six patients.

Paul Cavalier, partner of Ingleton Wood Property Consultants, said: “We’re extremely proud to have designed these amazing new facilities for patients and staff alike, delivered through very challenging circumstances.”

Simon Dickson, Business Director at our partner Sodexo, said: “The collaboration between us, our partner Catalyst, contractors and the Trust’s Clinical and Estates teams enabled the creation of a new clinical area for Rapid Assessment and First Treatment (RAFT). This is the second stage and has transformed previously unused space for a staff wellbeing area and hot lab.

“To complete this through the second wave of Covid-19 without disrupting services is a testament to the strong partnership work.”

Ashley Ferguson, project manager from building contractor MJ Ferguson, added: “We worked tirelessly to ensure we adhered to all Covid-19 protocols. The end product being that these projects were delivered safely and there is now a fantastic new facility to serve the community and beyond.”

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