Major upgrade for hospital unit

The new Rapid Assessment and Treatment Unit (RATU) at Wansbeck General Hospital which has opened.
The new Rapid Assessment and Treatment Unit (RATU) at Wansbeck General Hospital which has opened.
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A MAJOR refurbishment has taken place in a hospital unit to cater for the increasing numbers of patients.

More assessment bays have been provided and a new purpose-built rapid assessment and treatment unit (RATU) with single-sex accommodation has been opened at Wansbeck General Hospital’s accident and emergency department.

The new unit, which has 12 bays, ensures men and women do not share washing and toilet facilities, improving patients’ privacy and dignity.

Steve Russell, director for medicine and emergency care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “Patient numbers are rising daily and these improvements mean we can treat more patients in an environment which is more spacious and modern.

“Over the last two years we have invested more than £1m to enhance toilet and shower facilities across our hospitals and this is part of that.

“Patient experience results show that we are delivering the highest standards of care and have eliminated mixed-sex accommodation from our hospitals with more than 98 per cent of patients saying they were treated with dignity and respect.

“We were fully compliant with the government’s requirement when they came into force on April 1 to provide same-sex accommodation, however, this new facility further improves patients’ privacy and dignity and completes the major refurbishment of the accident and emergency department.”

Around 200 people attend the hospital’s accident and emergency department every day.

The trust has provided three new assessment bays and improved the area where patients wait for results.

RATU is where patients suffering from acute medical illnesses can be assessed and initially admitted after being seen in accident and emergency.

Patients normally spend between 12 and 48 hours on the unit before being admitted to a speciality ward or discharged from hospital.