Mum praises new emergency-care hospital

Will Aitchison. Picture by Gavin Duthie Photography.
Will Aitchison. Picture by Gavin Duthie Photography.

A Wooler mum has praised the prompt and specialised treatment her son received at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, adding ‘we are very lucky to have this in our area’.

Pauline Aitchison took her 15-year-old son Will, a pupil at Alnwick’s Duchess’s Community High School, to Cramlington in the early hours of the morning after taking advice from NHS 111. He was experiencing severe pains.

Within minutes of arriving in the children’s unit, he was seen by a nurse, doctor and surgeon and had emergency surgery to remove a potentially dangerous cyst within a couple of hours. He was able to go home just a few hours after.

Pauline, of Ryecroft Park, said: “We were really impressed with the care Will received, it was phenomenal – there’s no other way of describing it.

“Everything was so streamlined and slick, there was no panic and all the staff knew exactly what they needed to do.

“Everything was geared towards the patient and their family and myself and Will were kept informed throughout, which was hugely reassuring in what was a worrying situation. We are very lucky to have this facility in our area.”

The new facility, for patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside with serious or life -hreatening emergencies, is the first purpose-built hospital of its kind in England to have emergency medicine consultants on site 24/7 with access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and specialist consultants in a broad range of conditions also working seven days a week.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust says that more people who are seriously ill or injured are now getting the right treatment sooner, with many not needing to stay in hospital at all.

Initial data for the first four months since the hospital opened in June shows that around 1,500 fewer people have been admitted to hospital than in the same period last year.

The Trust says that, of those who are admitted as an emergency, more patients are going home earlier with more than 70 per cent in hospital for less than three days thanks to early specialist input from the right experts – an increase on the same period last year.

Since the new model of emergency care was introduced in June, the Trust says that more than 54,000 people have accessed services – around half at the new Northumbria hospital and half at the Trust’s 24/7 urgent care centres in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals.

Dr Chris Biggin, clinical director of emergency care at the Trust, said: “Early evidence is very clear that the new system is bringing many benefits to patients. Having the right specialists available seven days a week and senior clinical decision-makers on hand around the clock means we can start treatment much sooner than we’ve been able to in the past and get patients home much earlier.

“This is a ringing endorsement of the new model of emergency care and our teams who are working extremely hard to treat increasing numbers of people as quickly as possible.”

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