Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals’ (WHH) Chairman, Steve McGuirk, and Chief Executive, Professor Simon Constable, welcomed Helen Whately MP, Minister of State for Social Care, and Warrington South MP Andy Carter, last week (Thursday 9th February) to discuss integrated care and discharge.
First of all there was a visit of Warrington Hospital’s Emergency Department, where the Minister spoke to staff around current pressures. The Minister also got to look around the Trust’s new £6.5m Same Day Emergency Care Centre which opened last year and extends the range of urgent and emergency care services that is available to patients in the area. The Same Day Emergency Care Centre runs 24-7, with a dedicated team that can assess, diagnose, and treat patients referred directly from primary care or emergency department colleagues.
The Minister then visited Ward A10, one of the Trust’s winter escalation wards, where discussion with members of staff focused on arrangements for discharging patients out of hospital, particularly those who are medically fit to go home or on to their next place of care.
The visit concluded in the Frailty Assessment Unit, which offers assessments to people living with frailty; predominantly older people (65 years of age and over), with the aim to return patients to their usual place of residence on the same day.
Minister tours new Same Day Emergency Care Centre (L-R: Hospital chief executive Simon Constable, Andy Carter MP, Minister Helen Whately, urgent and emergency care matron Heather Williams)
Simon Constable, Chief Executive at WHH, said: “We were delighted that the Minister was able to visit the hospital and speak with staff. We constantly strive to deliver the best possible care for patients and were pleased to be able to showcase how we do this safely against the backdrop of current pressures.
“This includes managing our ageing estate and the physical limitations of some of our buildings, which is particularly evident in both our Emergency Department and A10, one of our winter escalation wards. Patient safety and quality of care remains paramount, and once again I’d like to commend our staff for their commitment and dedication.
“We are grateful to the Minister for taking the time to visit, viewing first-hand the impact of winter pressures, delayed discharges, and our urgent need for a new hospital in Warrington.”
Minister of State for Social Care, Helen Whately MP, said: “Meeting the hard-working staff at Warrington Hospital I heard about the pressures they’re facing day to day. We talked about the work being done to help, including how the £19m of Government funding for the Integrated Care Board and £686,000 for the local authority for discharge this winter is helping people return home after treatment.”
“A week ago we published our NHS Emergency & Urgent Care Recovery plan, which tackles the reasons for A&Es being so busy and prioritises getting people the right care in the right place. We’re working to get the waiting times down in Warrington Hospital and all round the country.”
Andy Carter MP, said: “We’ve already secured new MRI and CTI scanners to help tackle the backlog and in the summer we opened new same day Emergency Care Centre to ease pressures in A&E but we need to take decisions and address the growing population over the long term and that’s why I’m campaigning for a new hospital for Warrington. Describing the challenges during debates in Parliament is not the same as them seeing the pressures for themselves, so I’m grateful the Minister was able to come and visit the Hospital to hear from local leaders on the investment required.”