Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Let's raise £20k to make A&E better for kids
9:10am Monday 19th August 2013 in News
Building work began last week and will include the creation of a dedicated children’s unit, as well as a complete redesign of the Emergency Department.
The major revamp will mean children no longer have to wait alongside drunk people on Friday and Saturday nights, in an often cramped waiting room, with harsh lighting and clinical surroundings during an especially upsetting time.
By raising £20,000 through our ‘Making it Better’ appeal, we hope to help the GWH buy the little extras which will help put children at ease, including televisions, iPads, toys and a refreshment stand. The department cannot afford these items with their NHS budget alone.
Mum-of-two Debbie Smithson, 35, of Moredon Green, is backing our appeal after her seven-year-old son Alfie was treated for a head injury at the department last month.
“There is a lot of bad news about the hospital which I don’t think is right because for us they were fantastic,” she said.
“I always joke with my children when it is the weekend or when it is hot not to get hurt because if they were to go to A&E at those times then you would see more intoxicated people in the waiting area, which is not nice for young children.
“It is not just the intoxicated people that can make it a scary situation when you are in a vulnerable position, so I think from that point of view separating the two waiting areas would have a major benefit.”
The first phase of the project, which is expected to be complete at the end of October, will mean children will have their own waiting and treatment area with five private cubicles.
The aim is to provide families with a more calm and child-friendly environment, away from the busy general waiting area. The adults waiting area will also undergo a refurbishment with new seating, a TV screen and refreshments.
Fundraising manager Hannah Persaud said the support from the local community is vital in ensuring children are put at ease when attending the GWH.
“The new ED area is going to make a huge difference to patients,” she said.
“Notoriously lots of research shows that for children, when they visit ED, it is an incredibly stressful time anyway because they are there because of some emergency, but it is made more stressful by being in a clinical environment, with harsh lighting and with uncomfortable chairs, no toys - all of these things add up.
“I have two children and I know what it is like for parents who are already stressed anyway, and then there are no distractions for the children.
“This will make a massive difference to the children and the families that come into the hospital.
“We hope that local people will help us to make the waiting area that bit nicer. The money we collect will go towards those little extras which will help to pass the time and make waiting more comfortable.”
Emergency Department Consultant, Mr Rana Nag, the consultant leading the project said: “We are very excited because this will create great changes and improvements not only to the patients experience but also to the efficiency of the department and the staff morale.
“When the hospital moved to this site in December 2002 we had 50,000 attendances in the Emergency Department and 65 per cent of those patients were attending with minor problems.
“Last year we had 77,000 attendants and at least 50 per cent of them were attending with major critical illness or injuries, so in 10 years there has been an increase of over 50 per cent so the department needs a change to cope with this increased pressure.
“What the patients can expect is a nicer waiting area which is nicer for patients who come in under stress, with an emergency illness or injuries.
“There will be a revamped and enlarged reception space and there will be a dedicated nurse assessment room which we are putting in to shorten the patient wait to be assessed initially, which will make it safer.
“Also, an increased number of critically ill patients will be under direct view of the staff bays.
“For children and their families it will be a much nicer experience to be away from the general Emergency Department waiting area because very often, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings, there are quite a few drunk and disorderly adults which is not nice for the children to be exposed to.”
Mr Nag said the increasing elderly population is contributing to a busy and unpredictable Emergency Department, with sometimes more than 280 patients passing through the doors in a 24 hour period.
“Anything can happen at any time, but in general it starts getting busy around 11am and it remains busy into the early hours of the morning.
“There has been a steady increase not only in the number, but also in the complexity of the cases that come into the Emergency Department, as everywhere else in the country. This increase in numbers and complexity has happened because of an increasing elderly population, but also because of our ability to treat more complex cases appropriately.
“That is what we want to carry on doing, providing good quality care in a timely fashion to the patients who actually need it. So I would like to say to the general public that if you think your problem can be dealt with by other avenues of health care provision, like the general practitioners or the walk in centres, then please try to access them.”
- Click here to read more stories on our campaign and to find out where you can make a donation.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to make a donation to the cause, visit the Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/GWH-ED-Appeal or text GWED50 with your amount to 70070. People can also claim gift aid at no extra cost.
We would also like to hear from any parents who have had experience of the department with their youngsters. Email us your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us at @swindonadver or call 01793 501794.
Comments are closed on this article.