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Second phase of work starts on Walsall's £40 million urgent and emergency care centre

Work has started on a new ambulatory emergency care unit at Walsall Manor Hospital's £40 million urgent and emergency care centre.

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The urgent and emergency care centre at Walsall Manor Hospital

The second phase of the new urgent and emergency care centre (UECC) development is underway with the ambulatory emergency care (AEC) unit and new emergency imaging services moving into Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s former emergency department.

AEC allows patients to be assessed, diagnosed and treated on the same day so they can return home without being admitted to hospital overnight.

The relocation is expected to provide more space for AEC patients, allowing a greater number to be seen.

The unit currently supports up to 40 patients each day.

Health bosses say as both AEC and the emergency imaging suite will be co-located to the recently opened UECC, the flow of patients will also be improved and closer communication can take place between clinicians.

Work started on the new AEC at the beginning of November and it is hoped it will be completed by next month.

The emergency imaging suite is planned to open next spring.

Ned Hobbs, deputy chief executive and chief operating officer at Walsall Healthcare, said: “We were proud to open our new UECC earlier this year to significantly improve emergency care facilities and capacity and house our emergency department, acute medical unit, children’s emergency department and co-located paediatric assessment unit.

“Now we are into phase two of the transition to bring further improvements to those who use our services with better placed AEC and imaging services.

"Patients who have been referred by their GP as an emergency medical referral will be able to come straight to AEC on arrival and be seen promptly by our acute medical and nursing teams – preventing them having to wait in the emergency department.

"Tilbury Douglas started work at the beginning of this month on the new AEC and the hope is that it will be completed for use in December.

“The emergency imaging suite is planned to open in the spring of 2024.

“We are working hard to minimise any disruption to our patients at this time but apologise that we do need to carry out this vital work whilst continuing to run our emergency and urgent care services.”

Various specialist facilities are located throughout the new UECC, such as an isolation room for infectious patients, bariatric provision and digital x-ray rooms.

All areas have been designed specifically to enhance clinical staff efficiency, provide better care and an improved working environment for staff.