THE new Emergency Care Centre at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is set to welcome its first patients in the most significant development in the NHS in the North east for a generation.
The state of the art centre is expected to open its doors for the first time during the first week of December and a series of open days for staff and the public are being planned for this weekend.
The development will bring together emergency and urgent care facilities into one building for the first time at the Foresterhill campus.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman explained: “Urgent minor injuries and emergency care will be delivered in the Emergency Department. Medical and some surgical emergency admissions will be taken to the Emergency Care Centre, while acute geriatric care moves from Woodend Hospital to the Foresterhill Health Campus. The G-Med out of hours service will move into a purpose built operations centre, with NHS 24 joining them in summer 2013, to provide a streamlined and efficient out of hours service.”
The building will also house the cardiology, oncology and haematology departments.Other medical specialties, including renal medicine, respiratory medicine,and geriatric assessment will also move into the new building.
Graeme Smith, the project director for NHS Grampian, said: “This is quite simply the most ambitious development undertaken by NHS Grampian in a generation. The ECC stands taller than any other building on the Foresterhill Health Campus and it replaces 40 per cent of the inpatient beds at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. It has been designed in partnership with clinical staff to ensure the most modern and effective care can be delivered.
“The ECC won’t just benefit the staff moving into the building, or the patients who will be treated there. The opening of the ECC will trigger a series of improvements throughout ARI as we seek to move clinical care out of the oldest parts of the building.”
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “The ECC has been designed with patients in mind. Bringing all emergency and urgent care services together will improve access to unscheduled care. Once in the building, patients will benefit from access to a co-ordinated team of clinicians. 75% of the rooms are single occupancy, in line with infection control guidelines and offering patients improved privacy.
“Once the building is open, the existing Accident and Emergency department will be demolished.”