Operation new era at Good Hope is shaping up nicely
By Sutton Coldfield Observer | Friday, July 20, 2012, 09:20
GOOD Hope Hospital lies in the heart of Sutton Coldfield. It serves a population of 450,000 people from as far and wide as Aldridge on the Walsall border to a fair part of south east Staffordshire including Lichfield, Burntwood and Tamworth as well the more immediate north Birmingham catchment area, where 75 per cent of patients admitted come from.
Good Hope managing director Sue Moore wants to make the hospital "fit for future generations".
The new entrance to A&E at Good Hope is taking shape, with the department due to be open in just four months' time.
A central nursing hub will ensure staff can oversee each of the bays where both major and minor injuries will be treated.
Behind the double doors pictured right of the new laparoscopic theatres the hospital remains fully operational.
It has over 200 A&E visits on average each day and at peak this can rise to as many as 360. It sees more than ten new lives enter the world each day in its maternity department and caters for more than 260,000 outpatient visits each year.
Last November the site embarked upon a £9.9 million refurbishment which will see a new £4.6 million A&E department bringing both major and minor cases into one central area, pooling expertise and improving patient care.
The district hospital site will also boast two new laparoscopic theatres, a new day case unit and surgical admissions lounge costing more than £5 million.
The Observer was given a tour around the site to find out how the redevelopment is going at its midway point. Also on the tour were the hospital's managing director, Sue Moore, who took up her role in September 2011, Mark Wadsley, from the hospital's programme office, and Ted Halton and Peter Dorrian from Interserve, the building contractors who are carrying out the work.
Phase One of the redevelopment involves rebuilding a new A&E and is due to become operational this November, just four months away. Despite some setbacks caused by the weather, building contractors at Interserve are confident they will make up the two weeks they are behind schedule. The new emergency department will feature 14 major cubicles for adults and four minor ones, along with a paediatric area with four further bays and an "adult resus" [resuscitation] area where there are four beds for the most seriously ill patients and a further one set aside for children, with its own dedicated entrance.
"With the new A&E we will be more efficient," Sue said. "This is about safety and quality. Providing a service for patients irrespective of which door you come in."
The new A&E has been designed with a central nursing hub with bays that surround it so the nurses can see all the patients easily at any one time. The hub also acts as a safety measure as "A&E doesn't always bring in emergencies" according to Mrs Moore and nurses can keep a check on colleagues.
The new A&E sits alongside the present emergency department which will become the new "clinical decision unit", an area where patients, such as those suffering from a drugs overdose, can be kept in for 24 hours but not admitted unless they need to be.
The new investment will in turn attract the highest quality of staff to Sutton, Mrs Moore said. "The new design says the hospital cares, patients come first and that it's a great environment to work and we have had investment," she explained.
Phase Two of the works will see two new laparoscopic theatres with a total of 30 beds on the ground floor and a day case facility above it, on the first floor.
"This part of the hospital was at the end of its five-year cycle," Mrs Moore said. "When it is finished, it will be future-proofed for 20 years."
The new theatres will deal with a lot of the new keyhole procedures, which are less invasive. Appendicitis used to be carried out by open surgery but it is now done laparoscopically, meaning patients do not need to spend as long in hospital. What makes the work being carried out at Good Hope all the more remarkable is that next to the building site the hospital is operating to full capacity.
At the far side of the vast shell that will house the two new theatres is a wall separating the building site from an existing operating theatre. Sue Moore said, "no one is missing out while the work carries on".
Sue used to work as a healthcare professional.
"I started as a radiographer. I then took on a senior role at the cancer centre at Southampton General Hospital.
"My background is clinical. It's very important looking at services and I can walk it through in the clinician's shoes."
When the works are completed on the refurbishment works, such as painting the Forth Rail Bridge, the next project will begin.
And one of the first demands of the clinicians on site it better catering facilities. "We have a couple of schemes in the pipeline," Mrs Moore, who moved to Lichfield when she got the role, said. "We want to have a new canteen facility for patients and staff. At the moment there are a couple of coffee car areas and a very small restaurant. It's a big deal for the staff here."
The new canteen will see a series of ward moves but other improvements are also afoot with a new neonatal unit due to be completed next month.
In fact the whole hospital will have seen some kind of revamp. "By the end of this year there will be a new emergency department, a new theatre complex and a new day case area," Mrs Moore said. "Ward Block One [a £26 million development which was completed last year] has state-of-the-art intensive care and stroke facilities and a cardiac unit. We will have rebuilt the acute medical wards by the middle part of next year. We also want to have a more formal front entrance to the hospital.
"This part of the Heart of England Estate was ready for the redevelopment. This is a sizeable district hospital and we need to be a hospital fit for purpose and fit for the future."
One thing the MD was absolutely positive about was the quality of the people who work at Good Hope.
"We have got fantastic doctors on this site, who are very passionate about the care they give," she said. "If you have got that, you can achieve anything."
An area which is a perennial problem at Good Hope is the parking both on site and in surrounding roads and the hospital's MD noted this needed attention.
"With staff parking and patient parking we do have to do something," she conceded, but she was unable to divulge any detail on how the issue would be tackled.
But Mrs Moore was keen to stress that the key to good outcomes at the hospital was not just about finance but how issues were dealt with.
"People always talk about quality of care and people always think about money but it's courtesy and manners and responding to people in a polite manner that is important," she said.
"The NHS is defensive about complaints. People these days use social media more and rightly people expect a response. Now we need to respond within an hour.
"Queries get resolved very quickly, complaints become less and resolution becomes more meaningful.
"In the longer term I want to make this hospital fit for the future generations."
â Good Hope Hospital will be hosting its first-ever community fete on September 15. It will take place in and around the hospital's Treatment Centre and will feature activities including arts and crafts stalls, live music, arts displays, free health checks and hospital department tours.
There will be a chance to meet the midwives, find out about smoking cessation, find out "how clean are your hands", meet the hospital's pet therapy dogs and lots of activities for kids including free face painting, a bouncy castle and little ones bringing their cuddly toys to the teddy bears' hospital. The free event with free parking will start at 11am with refreshments available.
Heart of England Foundation Trust is looking for any community groups and local charities who would like to get involved to contact the communications team on 0121 424 2799.