HRH Visit July 2023-33.jpgWhat a day for the history books!

Our new Emergency Department was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on Wednesday 12 July 2023.

Princess Anne visited the department as part of a series of visits in the region on the day and met the dedicated team at the Trust – recognising the great work of the hospital staff and the team who worked around the clock to deliver the £27m state-of-the-art build.

The department was operationally opened on 21 June and has since seen more than 6,000 patients through its doors. 

The new development, with its innovative approach to patient flow, high spec equipment, ultra-modern technology and a real grounding in the community through the locally sourced artwork and wayfinding is a redefining jewel in Chesterfield’s crown but it’s vital that people only visit if they truly need to. Dr Katherine Lendrum, Clinical Lead for the ED and ED Consultant, commented further: “The new Emergency Department is an absolutely amazing facility, and we were honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to see what we do, how and where. It’s vital that people really do take note and only come to ED when they really need it!

“The new department is already working incredibly hard and is managing patients in a really efficient and safe way – we know that we’re providing better care and a better all-round experience for people – so it’s great that we’re able to take a moment and show our services to such a highly esteemed guest. We know that staff and patients – as well as the communities of Chesterfield will really see this as us redefining Chesterfield and showing that we’re fit for the future and providing a dedicated service which is second to none – by staff who really care!”

Dr Hal Spencer, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “This is a truly fantastic facility for the hospital and the communities we serve and to have HRH The Princess Royal come to officially open it is a real coup for colleagues and the community. I’m very proud of the skills, experience and hard work that have gone into shaping our new Emergency Department and to be able to show this to a member of the Royal family – based on our history – is even more rewarding.

“It felt very apt to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to officially open our ED: She was last here in 2009, when she opened the children and young people’s outpatients department we call ‘The Den’ and before that she opened The Scarsdale Maternity and Gynaecology Wing in 1990 – so this is third time very lucky! We’re very grateful and appreciate this historical moment means a lot to the people of Chesterfield and Derbyshire.”

Amongst the facilities The Princess – who is Patron of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and also patron to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the Royal College of Midwives - saw was the technology to live monitor patients, a dedicated children and young people’s area and a specialist zone for neurodiverse patients or those experiencing a mental health crisis, all of which mean we are providing a truly world-class facility for the region. The area above the department was also included in the extended tour which includes a state-of-the-art simulation suite and facilities to support training, health and wellbeing of our colleagues. The visit culminated with the unveiling of a special plaque in the reception/class atrium of the ED, alongside natural day light and specially commissioned artwork of the whole Joined Up Care Derbyshire system created by the world famous and local artist Dave Draws.

Dr Lendrum concluded: “ I was interested to talk to The Princess about how patients experience ED. Sometimes (in up to 70% of attendances) people choose to come to an emergency department with less urgent problems - perhaps because they don’t know where to go or because they perceive they will be seen quicker; get all the tests they need done or be treated faster. Our message about ‘if you feel well enough to have your tea, do you really need ED?’ have gone down really well with our communities. It is everyone’s responsibility to use health care services wisely.”

Alternative sources of help for less urgent problem, particularly out of hours include NHS111, local pharmacies and urgent treatment centres.