Patients attending A&E at Harrogate District Hospital will be “streamed” to the “most appropriate” form of care, thanks to a £340,000 government investment.
The funding comes as part of a £100 million capital investment by the Department of Health to introduce ‘Primary Care Streaming’ in Emergency Departments across the UK.
In Harrogate, the funding will redesign the front entrance area to the A&E department, putting in a confidential space for patients needs to be clinically assessed.
Rob Harrison, Chief Operation Officer at Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT), said: “It will allow us to put in place a confidential area for patients to be clinically assessed as to whether they need to be seen within the Emergency Department or whether we can direct them round to our GP Out of Hours service.
“This will be in place at the times when patients own GP Practices are closed and we see a higher proportion of people attending the ED who should be seen by a GP.”
The funding will also improve the rooms which are currently used to provide the out of hours GP service.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, has welcomed the news that the Trust will receive £340,000.
He said: “Wherever I go people have nothing but praise for our local hospital. Indeed the staff have won national plaudits for the quality of care given.
“That is why I am so pleased to see this extra funding going in to A&E to support that hard work and to further improve the patient’s experience.
“This investment is particularly important to A&E as this is often the place where patients go when they feel most vulnerable and most in need of support.”
At the end of last year HDFT received Capital funding to extend the Emergency Department, which created an additional five treatment cubicles.
Mr Harrison said the extension has helped staff at the Trust to deliver the national standard of seeing and admitting or discharging 95 per cent of patients within 4 hours.
He said the funding will “further improve the environment for patients, ensuring they can be seen by the most appropriate professional” and will support staff in continuing to deliver the national standards.”