Bosses at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have unveiled plans for a new children’s emergency and trauma department for patients across the South of England.
The £4.8 million project will include the development of a state-of-the-art eight-bed observation area, 11 glass-fronted and sound proof cubicles and on-hand x-ray facilities at Southampton Children’s Hospital.
It will also see the creation of a reception, triage and waiting area for young patients, access to resuscitation facilities via a new link corridor, a nurse practitioner room and will incorporate the children’s assessment unit.
Although there is currently a separate waiting area for children within the emergency department at Southampton General Hospital, it is located inside the adult department and was originally designed for adults with minor injuries.
At present, provision for children consists of four trolley bays, one isolation cubicle and an observation area for three patients – while the paediatric assessment unit is located four floors above.
To fund the development, a partnership has been formed between University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation, the Murray Parish Trust and Southampton Hospital Charity.
The Murray Parish Trust, a charity, was formed by actors Jim Murray and Sarah Parish in memory of their late daughter Ella-Jayne, who was treated at UHS but sadly died of congenital heart failure seven years ago.
As part of the project, Winchester MP Steve Brine is spearheading a bid to secure £2 million investment from the government.
This will then be matched with a further £2 million to be raised by The Murray Parish Trust and Southampton Hospital Charity once the initial funding has been agreed, while UHS has already committed £800,000 to the project.
Fiona Dalton, chief executive of UHS, said: “This development is a crucial part of our strategy. As a regional centre, including major trauma centre, our children’s services are vital to our patients and partners across a large geographical area.
“Therefore, it is essential we update, support and grow our children’s hospital to meet the increase in demand we can expect in the coming years – but we cannot do it without additional investment.”
Although the fundraising campaign will not begin until the initial investment has been made, patients – past and present – and their families, as well as members of the public, can show their support by writing to their local MPs.
Dr Peter Wilson, a consultant in paediatric intensive care and director of Southampton Children’s Hospital, added: “We are extremely proud of the services we deliver for young patients and can demonstrate some really tangible successes, such as some of the best outcomes in the country for cardiac surgery and intensive care and exemplary major trauma care.
“However, for us to continue to provide exceptional paediatric services we need facilities that can meet future demand and securing national funding is vital to the development and progress of our children’s hospital.”
He added: “It is really important to us in these initial stages to build support from as many patients, families and members of the public as possible and we urge anyone who is interested in getting involved to engage with their MPs and make the case for investment in Southampton.”
Posted on Friday 19 February 2016