THE John Radcliffe Hospital has opened its new £13.8m upgraded emergency department.

Expansion work at the Oxford hospital, run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, began in April 2019 and was completed this month, with the first patients admitted yesterday.

The extension provides a better use of space, more diagnostic equipment, and improved privacy and dignity for patients as well as improved turnaround times for ambulances.

The new space also provides an extra nine bays for the immediate care of seriously ill patients.

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It features a paediatric resuscitation room and an isolation room with an adjacent CT scanner and control room as well as a nurses' bay and improved bereavement and relatives' rooms.

Six new ambulance spaces have been created and a more efficient drop-off point is set up at the entrance of the new building.

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer at the Trust, said: “We are delighted that the new Emergency Department expansion, which is the major part of a £13.8m project, is now open.

“It will ensure that high-quality care is delivered to our patients in the right time and in the right environment.

“Due to the growing population in our area, the expansion is vital to ease the pressure on our services caused by increased numbers of patients.

“This has been a significant building project for the John Radcliffe Hospital which will bring real improvements in care and experience for our patients, as well as a better working environment for our staff.”

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Sachin Mandalia, Clinical Lead for the Emergency Department, said: “We are really happy with the new facilities at the John Radcliffe Hospital and they are going to make a huge difference to the community in a number of ways.

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“We know that our patients will have a much better experience when they need our help. Nobody wants to need emergency care but when you do, you want the care to take place in the best possible facilities. This new area will help us to deliver the standard of care that we aspire to.”

Katy Mimpress, Matron of the Emergency Department, said: “I am delighted that this new facility is ready and open to patients. This is great news not only for the Trust but for the whole region we cover as an Emergency Department.

“We have incredibly talented and dedicated staff in the Emergency Department and these new facilities significantly enhance the care that they will be able to give patients within minutes of arrival here.

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“Our staff have shown incredible professionalism during the construction of this extension and their teamwork has been exceptional.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made this happen. It takes a whole team to ensure we are delivering outstanding care to our patients, including clinical staff, team members from estates, our domestic teams and more.”

Oxford Hospitals Charity has supported the new extension by funding the dedicated CT scanner for the resuscitation department.

The new equipment, which cost £826,000, was funded thanks to a legacy gift to the charity from a grateful former patient.