The final countdown is now on to the opening of England’s first purpose-built dedicated emergency-care hospital.
At 6am on Tuesday, Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington, will open its doors to the public and start treating patients from Northumberland and North Tyneside who are seriously ill or injured.
At the same time, changes will take place in emergency care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck which will become 24-hour walk-in services providing urgent care for less-serious conditions.
The new hospital will have emergency care consultants working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and specialists in a broad range of conditions on site all through the week.
Some planned surgery which is considered to be high-risk will also be carried out at the new hospital as patients will be surrounded by relevant experts and support services such as critical care.
The new hospital will have a state-of-the art emergency department with individual treatment rooms and an operating theatres for emergency/high-risk surgery including a dedicated maternity theatre, among other things.
The hospital will treat serious emergencies such as suspected stroke, loss of consciousness, persistent and severe chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain and severe blood loss.
In these circumstances, patients should go straight to Cramlington or call 999.
The general hospitals will provide walk-in services for urgent conditions such as minor head, ear or eye problems, broken nose or nose bleed, sprains, strains, cuts and bites, children’s minor injuries and ailments, minor fractures or broken bones and abscesses and wound infections.
In these circumstances, people should go straight to 24-hour walk-in services, contact your GP or call NHS 111 for advice.
For more information, visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/emergency