Sue Symington smiling and the text 'As I see it - the latest blog from Sue Symington'

Creating world class emergency care settings for patients and staff

Urgent and Emergency care departments, often described as ‘the front door’ to acute hospital services, have had the most challenging few months. As I write, we are hoping that the peak of the winter has now passed, although experience tells us all that things can change very quickly.

Across our Integrated Care System (ICS) significant capital works are taking place to improve the capacity and efficiency of our Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) departments for the benefit of patients – and to seek to improve the working conditions of our hard-working staff.

Projects are approaching completion in both Scunthorpe and York. The huge and impressive build in Scarborough has almost a year to go before it is ready for patients and staff, and the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby the work is complete. I have been very much looking forward to seeing the transformed facilities there, having visited some months ago when the developments were still a building site.

The (almost) finished department exceeded my expectations. It is a spacious clean, open environment which is focussed on the best ways we can support our patients when they are at their most vulnerable.

Some of the details of the improvements reveal the care that has gone into this development, including bespoke areas for children needing care, and narrative boards in many of the areas to inform patients and their families and carers about what to expect during their time in the department and, importantly, a bright and open space for staff to take their breaks. I was pleased to meet with Natalie, the Matron in the department, who provided me with a full and hugely informative tour of the whole department, and Jug, the Director of Estates and Facilities, shared with me the technical aspects of the transformation. I am grateful to them both for their time.

Creating the right environment for patients and staff supports the delivery of effective, safe services and creates pride in the workplace.

Together, the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust team has transformed not only the environment, but also the experience of our patients.

Sue Symington

Chair of the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board and Chair of the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Partnership