Scott Mann MP welcomes new facilities to cut A&E waiting times in hospitals across the South West
Scott Mann MP welcomes news that patients across the South West are set to benefit from seven new and upgraded discharge lounges, which will speed up access to care and help cut urgent and emergency care waiting times.
The discharge lounges are backed by nearly £50 million of investment as part of plans to improve urgent and emergency care performance and cut waiting lists, with the South West receiving more than £15.5 million in funding.
Discharge lounges will speed up access to care in hospitals across the South West by providing an additional 172 beds, chairs and trolleys for patients that have received treatment and are awaiting discharge. Salisbury Hospital has been able to transform its lounge with eight new beds and four trolleys, backed by £500,000 in funding. Other discharge projects are being carried out in the region, including at Mount Gould Hospital in Plymouth. Backed by £5 million, it has provided 40 new beds for patients and more than 100 people have already benefitted from the facilities.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
“These new ambulance hubs and discharge lounges are another example of how we’re investing to cut waiting times – one of the government’s top five priorities. They are already benefitting tens of thousands of patients by freeing up beds and reducing the time for patients waiting to be admitted from A&E.
“The hubs will allow ambulances to manoeuvre more quickly and cut out unnecessary delays, and the lounges will free up hospital beds, while offering patients a more comfortable environment to recover in while they’re waiting to leave hospital. All of this is to ensure we can bring down waiting times and prepare for next winter.”
Health Minister Lord Markham said:
“Waiting times have already substantially reduced from the peak of winter pressures – but we know there is more to do, and we are investing record funding in health and care services to reduce waiting times and improve patient care.
“These new ambulance hubs will help free up ambulance crews to get back on the road more quickly and respond to emergencies, while expanded and upgraded discharge lounges will help free up hospital beds and cut A&E waiting times.”
NHSE National Director of Integrated Urgent and Emergency Care and NHSE Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Sarah-Jane Marsh, said:
“The hard work of health and social care teams across the country has meant we have seen improvements in ambulance response times and A&E performance since December, despite the impact of seasonal viruses, industrial action, and higher than usual bed occupancy.
“These dedicated spaces, alongside the range of actions we have outlined in our urgent and emergency care recovery plan, including thousands of new beds, hundreds of new ambulances and measures to help treat more people in the community, will help us further improve patient experience and help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions ahead of next winter.”