COVENTRY’S University Hospital has been granted £15million from the Government towards expanding its A&E department including a new Minor Injuries Unit.
One of the UK’s busiest Emergency Departments it sees around 150,000 patients per year and serves a catchment area of more than a million people.
An initial cash injection of £3million was announced by the Government last week, with a written guarantee provided for the remaining funds. The money will also go towards installing additional treatment cubicles, expanding the waiting room in the Children’s Emergency Department, increasing the level of same day emergency care and supporting diagnostic capacity through an additional CT scanner.
All work is designed to complement existing services provided at Rugby Urgent Treatment Centre, available 24/7 at the Hospital of St Cross, and Coventry Urgent Treatment Centre, open between 8am and 10pm in Stoney Stanton Road.
The announcement has been welcomed by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, which manages the hospital. Professor Kiran Patel, chief medical officer and interim chief executive officer, said: “We are very proud of our Emergency Department and the safe, high quality care we provide for those most in need.
“This welcome and much-needed investment means we can future proof our services and further improve how patients are assessed and treated within our Emergency Department to improve the patient experience.
“We believe these developments will allow us to deliver new, innovative ways of working to help continue to enhance the overall experience for our patients and their families.”
Colleen Fletcher MP said: “I am delighted that UHCW has been awarded the money to expand their A&E department, this is a win for the whole of Coventry.
“The award realises the ambitions of my campaign earlier in the year for additional funding to take the pressure of the A&E department at UHCW. The current trend of continually increasing demand on UHCW A&E department simply was not sustainable and this unfortunately, led to rising waiting times for some patients. However, with this award, UHCW will be able to establish a Minor Injuries Unit, meaning that patients will be treated more efficiently with fewer delays.”
The Coventry North East MP called for additional funding to take the pressure off the A&E department at UHCW on January 8, raising the issue with Boris Johnson in Parliament. He responded by agreeing that either he or the Health Secretary would meet a delegation from Coventry to discuss the matter.
The meeting with Health Secretary took place on January 21 where he met with Colleen and UHCW Chief Executive, Professor Andy Hardy. Following the discussion, the Hospital submitted an application to the Department of Health for an expansion of their A&E. Eight months later the Department confirmed that the application had been successful, and the expansion could go ahead.
The hospital’s A&E has seen a rapid rise of 29.8% in the number of attendances by patients from 117,282 in 2010 to 152,284 in 2019.
The funding will be used to reconfigure the Emergency Department to ensure it is able to meet projected demographic growth in the area. The project will be delivered in a phased approach to ensure that patient care is not affected, with timescales to be confirmed.
UHCW employs 9,000 staff and is one of the largest acute teaching Trusts in the UK comprising of University Hospital in Coventry and the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, working in partnership with Warwick University Medical School and Coventry University.