Pioneering Emergency unit gets seal of approval from patients

Posted on Tue, 13/06/2017

Gateshead’s innovative Emergency Care Centre (ECC) has been praised by patients for making significant improvements to their care.

In 2016, A&E services at the Trust were judged to be “significantly better” than in 2014.

Performance in areas including waiting times on arrival, care and treatment and hospital facilities, were also found to be as high as double the national average.

The findings are revealed in the Emergency Department Survey 2016, which quizzed thousands of people on behalf of 75 hospital trusts across the country.

It was carried out by The Picker Institute Europe  -  a not-for-profit organisation that makes patients' views count in healthcare.

Earlier this year, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was highlighted as one of the best performing in the country for meeting the Government’s A&E safety standard.

The QE, which includes the Blaydon Walk-in Centre, was one of only a few NHS trusts in the whole country achieving the government target requiring A&E departments to see 95% of patients within four hours.

Areas judged by patients to have improved include the amount of time doctors and nurses are able to spend discussing health or medical problems, complete confidence and trust in staff and being able to get help from staff when needed.

The Trust’s performance in a number of areas, including ambulance handover times and waiting for more than 15 minutes before speaking to a doctor or nurse, were also significantly higher than the national average.

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has invested more than £32 million into the innovative Emergency Care Centre (ECC), which was officially opened in August 2015.

A modern centre with the latest technology, it also represents a new way of working with patients, combining the traditional accident and emergency, walk-in centre, medical and surgical assessment and urgent children’s services all under one roof. People are seen immediately by a nurse who will assess their situation and point then in the right direction to get the care that best suits their problem.

Andrew Beeby, medical director, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that the investment in our Emergency Care Centre is making such a tangible difference to patient care in Gateshead. This really is a remarkable achievement and I want to say a huge well done to all the individuals and NHS teams who have worked so hard over the past 12 months.

“While the Trust was found to be performing “significantly better” in a number of areas, both since 2014 and also in comparison to other trusts around the country, there are still improvements to be made. We will be looking closely at these findings and our patients’ comments to see how we can continue to make targeted improvements in the areas that need it most.”

Take a look around the ECC here


Key Improvements since 2014

A total of 35 questions were used in both the 2014 and 2016 surveys. Compared to the 2014 survey, Gateshead Health NHS Trust is:

  • Significantly better on 12 questions
  • Significantly worse on 0 questions
  • The scores show no significant difference on 23 questions

In comparison with other NHS trusts Gateshead is:

  • Significantly better than average on 25 questions
  • Significantly worse than average in 0 questions

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