A short move but A&E has been waiting on this for a long time

KIRKCALDY;'Ronnie Cook, at new A&E department at the Victoria Hospital'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Ronnie Cook, at new A&E department at the Victoria Hospital'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

frontline staff in accident and emergency are counting down to their move into the new wing at Victoria Hospital.

They are set to make the short hop from the old building to the £170m wing before Christmas - and are pledging a department run even more efficiently than before.

A & E transfers on Monday, December 19 at 8.00 a.m. - that’s stage one.

Stage two comes on January 19 when west Fife’s A & E service, moves from Queen Margaret in Dunfermline to Kirkcaldy.

Minor injuries

And while a minor injuries service will still operate in the west, from early in 2012 all all A&E Services will be based in the new facility offering 24-7 treatment.

Dr Ronald Cook, A&E consultant, said everyone is excited about the transfer and believes the department will run more efficiently as a result.

He said: “This has been a long time in the planning.

‘’The transfer will mean we can provide a more consultant-led service with senior doctors all being based at the one site rather than being split between the two.

“The more senior doctors we have on the one site, the better the treatment for patients.”

The new A&E department will feature a reception area, three triage rooms - where patients with minor injuries can be assessed and an out-of-hours GP service accessible through NHS 24 only.

Spacious

It also has a spacious minor injuries area with six patient bays and two private consultant rooms; a children’s waiting room - which will include a television, DVD player and toys - and two dedicated paediatric treatment areas.

The new wing also boasts a large major injuries area with nine treatment bays, plus a resuscitation area, and a six-bed observation unit to monitor patients with head injuries and other conditions requiring short admissions and observation.

Dr Cook said one way they will be able to run the department more effectively is through the introduction of a rapid assessment team in the major injuries area.

He explained: “A senior consultant and medical staff will see patients as soon as they come in by ambulance.

“They will assess the patient straight away and draw up a treatment plan.

‘‘This will then be put into practice by junior doctors so the senior can then see the next patient who comes in.

‘‘But there will be more senior doctors on the floor overseeing treatments as a result of bringing A&E services all together at the one site.”

Dr Colin Dewar, clinical lead for emergency medicine, said: “The moves will see a full A&E Service based at Victoria Hospital with minor injuries services at both the Victoria and Queen Margaret Hospitals.

Business as usual

“Patients with minor injuries - constituting around 60-70 per cent of the workload of emergency departments - will continue to be seen, assessed and managed at their local minor injuries service.”

He said that during the move, it will be very much business as usual.

“If a person has or is suspected of having a life-threatening emergency, 999 should be dialled and the patient will be transported to their local major emergency department,” he said.

“Those patients who have minor injuries should attend their local minor injuries service as normal.”

He added: “GP practices also provide a range of services in hours and NHS 24 can help people access out-of-hours services by recommending an appropriate course of action after initial treatment.”