New bereavement suite planned in revamp of Russells Hall A&E

An enhanced resuscitation area and new bereavement suite could be created at Dudley’s main hospital as part of a revamp of the A&E department.

Artist impression of proposed changes to Russells Hall Hospital A&E. Photo: AFL Architects
Artist impression of proposed changes to Russells Hall Hospital A&E. Photo: AFL Architects

Proposals have been put forward to Dudley Council planning officers by the borough’s NHS trust which are aimed at boosting services at Russells Hall Hospital.

If approved, the redevelopment will see an extended resus area, a new bereavement suite, the introduction of an ambulance rapid assessment and treatment area and an expansion to the existing staff space.

Other changes include increasing the size of patient cubicles, a redesign of ambulance access, a new plant room and changes to parking areas.

The modernisation of the A&E at Russells Hall has been planned for three years and comes alongside existing work to build a new acute medical unit at the front of the hospital.

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has been working on redesigning the emergency department since a damning Care Quality Commission inspection which ranked the A&E as inadequate.

Inspectors said the resus area was not fit for purpose for the size of Russells Hall Hospital.

A new acute medical unit is already being built at Russells Hall

Since then, the trust has secured millions in Government funding to help reconfigure the A&E department, including £20 million in 2018 as part of a national £2.9 billion funding.

A further £3m of funding has also gone to the new modular acute unit which it is hoped will reduce winter pressure by linking the emergency department to the main hospital.

In the application, planning agents AA Projects said: “An opportunity to reconfigure the resuscitation area within the Emergency Department (ED) happens rarely but when it does, it provides the chance to design a state of the art space that inspires and intuitively supports effective, efficient, and safe patient care.

“In doing so, it is important that it provides the flexibility to meet future developments in healthcare technology and increasing patient volumes.

“The design should facilitate the delivery of modern emergency medicine, promote the experience of patients, and enhance the wellbeing of staff.

“Following a CQC visit two years ago its report highlighted the resuscitation area did not have sufficient capacity for the size of Russells Hall Hospital and was not deemed fit for purpose.

“In addition, following lessons learnt from the Covid 19 pandemic, the new area will need to be fully flexible to meet future needs.

“Adjacent to the resus area will be a bereavement suite, with facilities for relatives and carers to be able to pay their last respects with privacy and dignity.

“State of the art facilities and equipment will support the department being an area fit for the future.”

They added: “The design allows for an expanded department area, required to meet the capacity demands of the hospital.

“Alongside this, internal reconfigurations of the whole area allow for a more efficient patient flow within the emergency department.”

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