New children’s emergency department opens its doors

We have opened our new children’s emergency department to the public.

The new paediatric emergency department benefits from a new resus and majors area dedicated waiting area and ambulance entrance. This is part of a phased development of work that will create a new emergency floor at St Mary’s Hospital.

The new waiting room has much more natural lighting and is decorated with graphic murals by the same illustrator who has designed the new artwork in the children’s ward – so familiarity is maintained during their stay, should they need to be admitted onto the ward.

The opening marks the end of the first phase of works of the £12.2m new emergency care floor build. The overall programme of work will see the co-location of the island’s existing emergency department, urgent treatment centre and short stay facilities. The full benefits of the new paediatric area will not be fully realised until the Trust complete the remaining phases of the new emergency floor.

Chief Officer, Joe Smyth said: “The improvements to our emergency care floor will mean patients will have a much better experience. This is an exciting first step and patients will see a number of benefits. However, the remaining phases of work will bring some operational difficulties as the main department will at times be reduced to facilitate the development of more integrated emergency services at the front of the hospital.

“We would like to thank our island community for their patience as our multi-million investment programme continues.”

Children and young people and their parents or guardian will need to use the new emergency department entrance if they are visiting the children’s emergency department. Adults will need to continue to access the emergency department and urgent treatment centre through the urgent treatment centre reception.

New children's emergency department waiting room

New children’s emergency department waiting room

Changes to St Mary’s Hospital access

As part of the extensive investment and improvement work to improve health care services for the island’s community for the longer term, we are upgrading the entrance to the Children’s Emergency Department to improve access for ambulances.

From Monday 4 September, in order to complete this work, we will need to restrict the movement of cars around the hospital site so that we can build a new ambulance entrance.

There will be no vehicle through route across the St Mary’s site; people wanting to park in the north car park, at the front of the hospital, should use the main entrance on Parkhurst Road and everyone else will need to use the entrances on Dodnor Lane at the back of the hospital.

This work is scheduled take 5 weeks and the diversion will remain in place for this period. We apologise for any inconvenience but these temporary restrictions are necessary to ensure the safety of staff, patients and contractors.

While we know building work can be disruptive for patients and visitors we will always work to ensure this is kept to a minimum.

map showing road closure at St Mary's Hospital

map showing road closure at St Mary’s Hospital

Multi-million pound investment programme taking shape

Significant progress has being made across our multi-million pound Investing in Our Future programme since work started earlier this year.

The new community and mental health hub, previously the old HMV building in Newport High Street, looks unrecognisable. With a new roof, sky lights and windows installed the new hub is starting to take shape. New stud walls and ceilings mean the clinical rooms and staff offices are also coming to life. The café space and lift shafts are well underway. The hub is on track to open in Spring 2024 and will bring a wealth of benefits including joined up services to improve continuity of care and improved accessibility to the local community.

The ground and foundation work has now been completed for the intensive care unit extension at St Mary’s Hospital and the new steel structure to support the extension is in place, interior works are also pressing ahead. The major refurbishment and expansion of our Intensive Care Unit will see the unit increasing from six to eight beds and the addition of a separate six bedded Enhanced Care Unit to ensure that patients are cared for in the most clinically appropriate setting.

The new emergency care floor, which is in its first phase of a series of planned works, is also on plan to be delivered in Spring 2024. The new extension is progressing well with a weatherproof structure now in place and internal works progressing at pace with a new waiting room area and resus area. The extensive refurbishment and expansion of our emergency services. Co-locating our existing emergency department, urgent treatment centre and short stay facilities with the addition of a new frailty unit. A separate, dedicated emergency entrance will improve access for patients.

Chief Officer, Joe Smyth said: “We are pleased with the progress that has been made so far, once completed our community will benefit from significant improvements to the quality of care that we provide.We are looking forward to opening the new acute ward and ICU later this year.”

The acute ward at St Mary’s Hospital is expected to open in Autumn 2023. Internal decor works are currently underway and the ward will allow the fracture clinic to move to the north hospital making way for the expanded emergency floor and Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) facilities.

Ward staff have also been able to look at the new space that will accommodate the new 18-bed acute ward will see the reconfiguration of our acute beds across St Mary’s Hospital.

After completing a tour of the new space, ward sister Mandy Webb said: “It is incredible to see how much the space has been transformed so far. The rooms and space that we will have to care for patients are taking shape. We were able to get a real sense of the environment and can’t wait to see the final results.”

Derek Jackson, Contracts manager for Kier Construction said: “The last couple of months has seen a significant transformation to hospital estate with the forming of the new extensions as well the internal fit out works with the new floor plans taking shape ensuring the high standards of quality and safety are being maintained through to completion and without compromising the operation of the Hospital”

Emergency floor transformation and staff investment proves a success

Over the past 12 months the emergency floor team has completed an innovative transformation resulting in zero nursing vacancies, less reliance on agency staff, an increase in positive feedback and a decrease in complaints.

The team recruited five agile trainee advanced clinical practitioners who rotate across the emergency floor providing much needed support to the busiest areas.

In addition to this, a new practice development team has had a significant impact on recruitment and retention, providing new starters with a supportive induction programme to help them settle into the new role.

They have welcomed two trainee emergency practitioners and a number of nurses from a variety of countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, the Philippines, India and Portugal, who have all progressed into more senior roles since they joined our Trust a year ago.

Head of Nursing, Urgent and Emergency Care, Samara Lamb, said: “The investment and transformation we have been able to achieve within our Emergency Floor team, despite the demand on our services, is something all the team should be proud of.

“The development of roles and introduction of new staff will complement the ongoing estates building work meaning we will continue to provide resilient high quality urgent and emergency care services to our community.”

The recruitment of a band 7 senior nurse means that the Acute Assessment Unit now has senior nursing support, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week as well as the Emergency Department which now also has senior nursing support 24/7. A newly appointed Trauma Audit and Research Network Coordinator will ensure we maintain our reputation and compliance with the Trauma Network.

The introduction of senior healthcare assistants to the areas has reduced demand on the nursing teams as they are able to offer additional support with medical support and with training.

New departmental housekeepers are helping to keep our patients nutritional and hydration needs met, and two newly appointed senior stores assistants will ensure stock levels across the floor are maintained. The admin and clerical team have a new team manager responsible for overseeing ward clerks, housekeepers, porters and reception team.

The introduction of quarterly meetings for the entire emergency Floor means that everyone feels more involved and aware of key decisions meaning team morale has improved.

Every member of the team had their annual appraisal before the end of May, helping staff to reflect on progress, successes and ensuring that discussion around personal development and progression are prioritised to help them progress further.

All of this combined with the anticipation of the completion of our new £12.2milliion emergency care floor to co-locate our emergency department and urgent treatment centre will bring even more benefits for both patients and staff.

New buggy to help patients get to their appointments

We have introduced a buggy service at St Mary’s Hospital to help patients get to their appointments.

The new buggy, operated by our ‘wonderful’ volunteers, provides patients with the support they need to travel around the inside of the hospital, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4pm.

The addition is in response to patient and public feedback and following discussions with the our Patient Council and staff equality networks.

Patients will be able to request use of the buggy by asking one of the volunteers at either the Main or North Hospital entrances.

Our Head of Health and Safety and Security, Rob Jubb, said: “It’s great to welcome the new buggy to St Mary’s Hospital, operated by our fully trained volunteers, it will be a huge support in helping patients get from one end of the hospital to another.”

The buggy was funded after a successful bid through the new Community Diagnostic Centre capital funding.

We are also exploring options to support patients to move around the rest of the hospital site.

£10m Community Diagnostic Centre to provide first class care

Major funding for digital infrastructure and clinical systems is a game changer

Isle of Wight NHS Trust has welcomed the confirmation of £21.5m of additional funding to modernise digital technology, IT infrastructure and clinical systems.

£12.5m of the capital funding forms part of the Investing in Our Future programme (IOF) to improve NHS buildings and IT and will support improvements happening across the Trust.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust bid successfully for a further £9m to improve its clinical systems.

The investment will enhance the use of technology to ensure we can provide safe and sustainable services that benefit our community and improve our staff experience too.

Improvements to our digital infrastructure will include replacing our current network to make way for faster and more reliable WiFi, making it easier to use clinical technology and communicate.

The funding will allow us to introduce a new electronic document management system (EDMS) which means all patient records will be digital and legacy records scanned into the new system. This means clinicians and patients will be able to access information much more quickly and efficiently.

It will allow us to invest in our data warehouse to improve the quality of our data, making it quicker to retrieve, more easily managed, and providing greater insight and more informed decision-making.

The funding will enhance our delivery of critical care by allowing us to invest in a digital solution to enable faster and safer sharing of data internally and with our partner organisations, including Portsmouth University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust will also introduce the same core clinical system that Mountbatten and our GP colleagues use to share electronic care records. SystmOne will enable seamless data sharing to ensure that clinical staff across the Trust have access to the right information at the right time. Reducing the number of systems and repeated data entry tasks will give back time to our clinicians that can be better spent with patients.

Alongside the introduction of a single system, we will offer the use of Airmid, an innovative patient-facing app, that will allow access to your medical records to support you in making informed decisions about your personal health.

Dr Nikki Turner, Director of Strategy, Partnership and Digital, said:

“This major investment is a game changer for the Island’s NHS and a major boost to our digital transformation journey.

Investing in our IT infrastructure and clinical systems will ensure we can provide a safe and sustainable digital service that will improve patient experience, and revolutionise the way our staff work.

We look forward to sharing further benefits of our digital transformation programme over the coming months.”

Rebecca Lester, Chief Digital Information Officer, said:

“This is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust to modernise its digital infrastructure and services for the benefit of citizens of the Island, and to provide modern digital tools which enable our staff to provide the best care possible to those using our services.”

Rish Jain, Foundation Year Two Doctor and Junior Clinical Information Officer said:

“A unified patient record system across an entire healthcare network, with patient level functionality, is the holy grail, and we’re sitting on it!

With properly funded upgrades to our whole digital ecosystem and infrastructure, we have a precious opportunity on the Island to truly change how we deliver healthcare and to and be a leader in it.”

Find out more about the IOF programme on this website.

Acute partnership proves to be a life saver

One of our community first responders has praised the care he received after having a heart attack in the early hours of Tuesday 8 November 2021.

Murray Clark, who had previously worked for South East Coast Ambulance Service for 9 years and more recently as a community first responder for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance Service, went to bed at 11pm before waking up at 3am with severe chest pains.

With no improvement after taking aspirin and heartburn medication, he took his blood pressure, was shocked to see it was over 200 and rightly suspected he was having a heart attack.

“I woke my wife up, told her what I thought was happening and she drove me to St Mary’s Hospital. Once we arrived, I was quickly triaged by the emergency care team and a nurse performed an electrocardiogram (ECG) that confirmed I had experienced a STEMI heart attack.

“The medical team were fantastic and acted quickly, taking the decision to thrombolyse me. Within 15 minutes of the procedure the pain had subsided. They were calm, collected and kept me informed of what was happening every step of the way.”

Thrombolysis, commonly used to treat stroke cases, helps to remove any blot clot in the body and so the risk of further strokes or heart attacks.

Murray still required further treatment from the cardiology team at Queen Alexandra (QA) Hospital, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. The emergency care team arranged a cross-Solent transfer to the mainland and Murray was blue lighted to QA via HoverTravel that morning at 8am.

Murray said: “I was quickly transferred and admitted to the catheterisation laboratory, more commonly known as a cath lab at QA, where the cardiology team, treated me by clearing my arteries and fitting them with four stents.

“I was discharged from QA that Saturday and returned to work six weeks later. The care I received across the two organisations was brilliant. Although I was surprised that the Isle of Wight NHS Trust did not have a cath lab my care and my transfer between the two hospitals was seamless. Since my heart attack I have returned to both hospitals for follow up appointments and the aftercare I have received from the teams has been faultless.

Murray said: “Living on an island will inevitably come with its challenges in accessing services we sometimes might need. However, the partnership between our Island and mainland healthcare services meant that I got the care that I needed.”

Changes to main entrance from next week

From next week there will be further changes across St Mary’s Hospital site to enable work to begin on our new emergency care floor.

The current drop-off point will be relocated to the main car park, including the taxi space and 6 disabled car bays.

The motorcycle park has also been relocated to opposite the podiatry department.

The pedestrian crossing near the main entrance will be relocated and an additional crossing will be put in place near the ambulance emergency drop-off point.

The footpath at the front of the hospital will also be diverted. Please see the new footpath in the image below.

There will be hoarding installed around the main entrance which will see the current footpath redirected. Patients, visitors and staff will be able to access the main entrance and emergency department as normal.

Watch the video to see the changes taking place on-site. You can find out more about the Investing in Our Future programme on this website, including patient and staff benefits, the projects and information to help plan your visit to St Mary’s Hospital.

All change as investment programme gets underway

From Monday 21 November there will be a number of changes at St Mary’s Hospital as work is set to begin on a once in a generation investment programme to improve the Island’s NHS infrastructure.

The main entrance of St Mary’s Hospital will see hoarding put in place as work begins on the new emergency care floor. Patients, visitors, and staff will continue to be able to access the main entrance, but footpaths will be redirected, and zebra crossing moved to accommodate the changes.

The drop off point, currently located outside the main entrance, will move to the front of the main hospital car park. The designated taxi spaces and a number of disabled car parking spaces will also be relocated here as well.

The motorcycle parking space will move to an area opposite the podiatry department, a short distance from the main entrance.

Samara Lamb, Head of Nursing for Unplanned Care said

“The changes will mean we have one front door for all urgent and emergency services, ensuring we can provide the right care, in the right place, first time round.”

The improved emergency care floor will see a new waiting area, resuscitation (resus) area and treatment rooms for children and young people. There will also be a separate entrance for ambulances carrying children and young people to improve patient experience and ensure privacy. On the improved Intensive Care Unit (ICU):

Vicky Crickmore, Consultant Nurse for Critical Care said

“For patients these changes will mean being able to provide quieter, more private spaces with natural light which will help their recovery and rehabilitation and provide a welcoming space for family members supporting them.”

Other changes across the site include a two-way traffic system along the road leading up to the Education Centre. The road will be narrowed to accommodate the new ICU extension – this is essential to enable contractor vehicles to come and go safely.

As a result, it may take longer to drive to and park near services at the back of the hospital including Audiology, Stoma, Renal, Patient Transport, and for Preoperative Assessment Unit (PAAU) checks.

As well as the new emergency care floor and the improved ICU, there are plans to improve the configuration of the acute hospital wards and build a new mental health and community services unit located in Newport High Street.

The new high street venue will provide an accessible community hub with co-located services offering holistic physical and mental health services. The contemporary space is designed to be inclusive and accessible with a space for a lift, ramps and a changing place toilet. There will also be a public café area for walk-in wellbeing support.

Rather than being based in multiple locations, these improvements will enable community nursing teams to work alongside adult social care services and mental health professionals right at the heart of the local community in a more accessible way.

It will also enable closer working with local GP surgeries and other voluntary and community-based services operating in the local area.

The four projects are all set to be completed by Spring 2024.