A new, modern Urgent & Emergency Care Centre for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, designed by BDP, has opened to the community.
In 2021, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust (WHT) expected a significant increase in local demand for emergency care as a result of a change in catchment area associated with the opening of the nearby Midland Metropolitan Hospital (MMH). This lead to a need to increase capacity and to the design of a new, state-of-the-art, two storey new build extension adjacent to the existing emergency department. The designs also included the refurbishment of the existing department to provide accommodation which supports an integrated model of emergency, urgent, and ambulatory care.
Procured through the ProCure22 Framework, the newly built £40m two storey facility provides the Trust with 4,864m2 of additional clinical space. The building includes an Urgent Treatment Centre, a Paediatric Assessment Unit, an Acute Medical Unit and a Medical Ambulatory Unit.
Various specialist facilities are located throughout, 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 improved quality of care, improved patient experience, and a superior, comfortable and effective working environment for all. The new building will help meet local demand, caring for up to 90,000 urgent admissions per year.
Max Martin, Architect Principal at BDP, explains: “Good healthcare design is about creating spaces that are responsive and flexible to help the brilliant NHS teams save lives. For Walsall Manor we responded quickly to the clinical requirements and we look forward to seeing the positive impact that this new emergency department will have on the staff and the community. We are immensely proud of the role we played in the project.”
Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North, said: “It's taken a long time to get to this stage with such a huge amount of effort by so many people, including the brilliant emergency department team, project managers, clinical directors and operations – not mention the countless staff who have had their say on how the building will work best for patients and staff.
Simon Butler, Managing Director Building Central at contractor, Tilbury Douglas, said: “It is great to see the completion of the new high-quality, modern development, that will assist Walsall Healthcare in improving the patient experience and allowing for greater flexibility for the future.”
Will Roberts, Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “All of us who have been involved in this massive project have been counting down the months, weeks and now days until we can finally move into this fantastic new environment.
“This is the most substantial investment our Trust has ever seen and we can’t wait to start delivering our services from this much improved environment that will help us to provide the first-class healthcare provision that our patients and families deserve.”