A major redevelopment of Macclesfield Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department has been completed in a move aimed to help patients access the care they need more efficiently.
The department has been reconfigured into two sections – one providing conventional A&E services and the other a primary care centre providing access for people with less severe conditions. On arrival, patients are now assessed by an experienced 'streaming' nurse who will ensure the patient is directed to the area that will best meet their needs.
The redevelopment is intended to help speed up the treatment of patients by ensuring that patients needing emergency care see the right staff more quickly. Patients presenting with less urgent conditions will instead be addressed by a GP or primary care nurse there and then or at the patient's own GP surgery at a later date.
The redevelopment was made possible following the awarding of £879,000 from the Department of Health's £100 million capital investment fund for A&E. Additional clinical accommodation was also created as part of the work, providing more space for treatment, together with a more modern environment.
Trust Chief Executive John Wilbraham said: "I am very pleased that we have been able to carry out the improvements which have already received positive feedback from patients and staff..
"Our staff have worked very hard to ensure disruption to patients was kept to a minimum throughout the building work and I would like to thank them all for their professionalism and dedication during this time.
"The work has been completed ahead of time and we are confident the changes will ensure people are seen more quickly by the staff best placed to give the care they need".
Macclesfield MP David Rutley said: "It was great to see the newly-refurbished A&E Department at Macclesfield Hospital.
"The improvements will make a real difference to patients who visit the A&E and ensure that they get easier access to the care and support that they need. I was impressed to learn that the work has been completed two months ahead of the normal timeframe for a project of this nature, so that patients can benefit from the new facilities over the busy winter months.
"I would like to thank the staff at the hospital for all their hard work in making this possible, and for all they do to serve our communities at this busy time of year."
Photo: Left to right: Chief executive John Wilbraham, operational manager for urgent care Rhodri Morgan, David Rutley MP, trust chairman Lynn McGill and Alison Proctor, service manager for the trust's GP Out-of-Hours Service.