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Croydon’s New Emergency Department

On Wednesday 28th November, Healthwatch Croydon had the opportunity to visit Croydon University Hospital new Emergency Department. The new A&E is a complete overhaul from the previous department and includes a new state of the art technology as well as well thought logistical patient pathways, clearly, there has been a lot of thought put into the best way to improve efficiencies for Healthcare professionals and also the comfort of the patients who will be using the service.

Having had a full tour, we think the new department is truly magnificent. This wonderful new building cost more than £21m to construct and has been designed by the hospital’s doctors and nurses to create the best environment in which to care for our community.

This is a great new facility but we need to be sure we only use it when we need emergency care so that staff can focus on those who really require their expertise at this busy time of the year.

That means that we all need to think about how to choose the right services for our health and care needs this winter and why I have pledged to become a Croydon NHS #WinterChampion.

If you do need to visit the new Emergency Department at Croydon University Hospital, then you will notice a big difference from the old facilities. It is 30 percent bigger than the hospital’s previous Emergency Department and has rooms with doors for every patient, rather than curtained cubicles, for better privacy and dignity.

There are two separate waiting areas for children and adolescents. There are also two mental health liaison rooms offering private and appropriate spaces where nurses can assess people who need specialist care, plus a dedicated Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS).

In addition, the Emergency Department includes a new 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre with six consultation rooms and a treatment room where people with more minor ailments can be looked after by qualified staff, all of which are well signposted from the clear and open entrance of the new department.

The departments are set out so that patients are able to feel at ease throughout the experience, with navigational infographics on the walls of each consultation room, throughout all sub-departments in the building such as the Urgent Treatment Center and children services.

The main A&E department waiting rooms are designed with atmospheric orange artwork to help improve the atmosphere of the department, and the Children’s A&E, has incorporated the use of soft natural lighting to improve comfort for these more vulnerable groups. Children’s A&E has incorporated into it an interactive playroom with a soft play area including some more age-appropriate games with the installation of a games console.

It is not only patient experience with has been well thought out, each room has a wall mounted tablet which is linked up to the nurse’s station, pictures will be transmitted in real-time to ensure that the status of the patients is known centrally and more efficiently, making use of time more efficiently for healthcare professionals.

So, if you feel unwell, don’t wait for it to get worse because expert health advice is available at your local pharmacist for minor ailments, or you can book an appointment with a GP during their extended hours of 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.

You can also phone NHS 111 to speak to trained staff and clinicians about immediate health concerns. NHS111 is available 24 hours a day and is free to call from landlines and mobiles or you can visit or search #StayWellThisWinter on social media.

I am so pleased that we have such wonderful facilities and a wide range of different emergency and urgent care services for our community as we head into this busy time of year.

We all have a part to play in looking after our health and choosing the right service, so I hope everyone will help the NHS to help us this winter.