Work has started on an exciting £24million development that will revolutionise the way we deliver Urgent and Emergency care Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

After years of planning and months of preparation to make the site ready for work to begin, we are now moving into the next stage of the project which will see this building come to life. Construction begins today and will take approximately 18 months to complete, opening in summer 2023. This New Urgent and Emergency Care Development will provide us with a state of the art environment that enables us to truly transform our urgent and emergency care services. 

Our stylish, new Urgent and Emergency Care Department building has integration at the heart, bringing together a host of services into defined clinical areas to ensure that our patients can get the support they require based on their clinical need, be it a minor illness or injury, or emergency care for a serious accident or critical care for a life-threatening condition 

This vision will become a reality when the building, developed thanks to involvement from our staff, partners and representatives across the Joined Up Care Derbyshire integrated health system, is complete. The Development will include an Urgent Treatment Centre for minor injuries or illness, as well as defined areas for paediatric care, major injuries and medical emergencies. There is also dedicated space for patients requiring emergency mental health support.  We are already working closely with our clinicians within the Trust and the wider healthcare system to develop our pathways to deliver a truly integrated model of care encompassing therapy, diagnostic imaging, primary community and social care services.

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at the hospital, Berenice Groves is leading the project and explains more:

“After a significant focus on  planning and design in consultation with clinical colleagues and partners, we are delighted to get this development underway. It’s exciting to see our project come to life and is a real boost for everyone to see the work begin. This is the biggest development in our Urgent and Emergency Care Services since the hospital opened its doors in 1984.
“As we are building a new department, our current emergency services will not be affected or disrupted during the construction. We look forward to seeing the building develop over the next few years, ready to open to patients in summer 2023. The new department and the ongoing pathway developments will benefit our patients for years to come”

Demand for Emergency Care is increasing year on year and as a Trust we have exhausted all available opportunities to expand and adapt our services within our existing footprint. Our current Emergency Department (ED) was built in 1984 and has delivered outstanding care to our patients, however as demand increases the department’s ability to work flexibly and adapt to new ways of working is limited. With this in mind, and taking into account emerging models of care, learning from the pandemic experience and building on closer partnership links, the Trust made the decision to revise the plans to refurbish the current Emergency Department and embark upon a new build approach. The building will be situated next to the current ED building with the aim of ensuring our patients can be streamlined to the most appropriate clinical service based on their clinical need. 
Katherine Lendrum is the Trust’s Consultant in Emergency Care and Clinical Lead for the Emergency Department, she said: “This will make a huge difference and the team is incredibly excited to see work start on the building. This last 18 months have given us an opportunity to apply what we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, cement the partnerships we’ve developed and to strengthen new ways of working that ensure our patients’ experience is a good one. 

“Whatever level of care you need, you will immediately be in the right place when you arrive at the door.  Then it’s our job to assess you and make sure you see the right expert in the right part of our Emergency or Urgent Care Department as quickly as possible.  This could be a GP, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Therapist or Consultant, but it will be someone with the skills and expertise that you require.

“Making the best use of our resources is a key part of patient care by ensuring our patients are given the most appropriate care in the right place without placing undue pressure on our services. We have seen demand on services build at the hospital and to continue with our ED as it currently stands wasn’t an option in the long term. We are close to having outgrown it but additional capacity has been built into the design of the unit to change the way we can deliver care and improve the experience for our patients.”

By involving staff, partners and representatives across the Joined Up Care Derbyshire integrated health system in the creation of this new facility the new Urgent and Emergency Care Department will provide collaborative services that make the most of digital innovation and technology, best practice care and treatment and give patients the best possible outcomes through exceptional care.

The project will also include building a new paediatric assessment unit (PAU) alongside the Royal’s Nightingale Children’s Unit to ensure babies, children and youngsters with acute illness or injury are assessed, investigated, observed and treated with an expectation of discharge home in 12 hours or less. Work is due to start on that part of the development in the New Year.