New units at a hospital in Leicester have been introduced with the goal of reducing queues and wait times

Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) and Glenfield Hospital are set to undergo a £3.6m upgrade as part of new plans to establish ambulance hubs and discharge lounges.

The aim is to expedite the process of getting ambulances back on the road and improve efficiency in patient discharges.

During the previous winter, patients experienced lengthy waits inside ambulances outside Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI). However, the NHS anticipates that the introduction of the new facilities will alleviate bed shortages and decrease waiting times for admission to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust responded to the severe queues at LRI by establishing a “temporary escalation area,” consisting of a bus and a tent, to accommodate patients when the Accident and Emergency department reached full capacity.

The bus and tent at LRI will be replaced permanently by a new 35-bed ambulance hub, while an additional 35-bed facility will be established at Glenfield Hospital. These developments aim to provide more stable and improved accommodations for patients in need of medical care.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, new discharge lounges will be established at both hospitals as well. This initiative aims to streamline the discharge process and enhance the overall patient experience.

Patients who are prepared for discharge from the hospital but require transportation or medication will be relocated to the newly established lounges. These lounges offer a more comfortable environment, featuring amenities such as televisions, hot meals, and dedicated discharge lounge nurses who will cater to the patients’ requirements.

The government has allocated a total of £3.6m to Leicestershire for funding the improvements at both sites. Additionally, Leicester General has received £1.5m to renovate its existing 12-bed discharge lounge. These financial investments aim to enhance the healthcare infrastructure and services in the region.

Jon Melbourne, the chief operating officer of the trust, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “The investment in discharge space and ambulance facilities at our hospitals is exceptionally positive news for the residents of Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.”

“To enhance our ambulance handover times, we implemented a temporary ambulance escalation facility at the emergency department of Leicester Royal Infirmary last year.”

“The establishment of the facility enabled us to consistently and efficiently release ambulances, leading to an enhanced experience for patients arriving by ambulance.”

“The decision to make this facility permanent and expand it to Glenfield is a strategic investment to ensure we are well-equipped to handle the surge in patient volumes during the demanding winter season.”



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By Ryan

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