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New £6m Airedale Hospital A&E unit approved
11:00am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
A multi-million pound plan to almost double the size of Airedale Hospital’s A&E unit has been given the go-ahead by Bradford Council.
The scheme, which would see the demolition of the hospital’s existing 40-year-old emergency department, is expected to cost £6 million.
A council planning officer approved the application through delegated powers and building work is expected to start before the end of the year. The new department could be open by late 2014.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said the existing facility was too cramped to deal with the large numbers of patients passing through its doors.
Earlier this year the trust was forced to apologise after the number of patients waiting at A&E for more than four hours rose 265 per cent from the previous year.
Plans include separate adult and children’s waiting areas, a quiet room for friends and families to use during stressful events and a separate screened entrance for ambulances.
Next month the emergency department will temporarily move to the hospital’s recently vacated endoscopy unit during construction.
While the existing A&E department was designed to deal with up to 20,000 patients a year, the number of people coming through the doors is closer to 55,000.
The trust says the new building will be designed to deal with this number, but also with a view for future extensions if needed.
A work schedule will be finalised by Airedale Hospital’s board this month, and next month the emergency department will move into the hospital’s former endoscopy unit on a temporary basis. The money is coming from the trust’s budget.
Dr Meg Crossley, a consultant in emergency medicine at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the project, said: “This development is great news for both staff and patients as it means we will have an emergency department that is fit for purpose.
“We will continue to work with our parish council and neighbouring residents to address any of their concerns whilst the new unit is being built.
“The new department would be a huge improvement on our current facilities and will provide better privacy and dignity for our most vulnerable older patients and their families and carers.”
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