november 2018

Creating an Ambulatory Care Unit in Lewisham

In June, ME Construction began a 17-week project at the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.

The project – to develop a new ambulatory care unit at the University Hospital (UHL) site in the old main reception, which has been vacant for a while. Ambulatory care includes a range of treatments such as blood transfusions or certain treatments for pain, such as epidural injections.

The new ambulatory care unit is intended for adult patients from any specialty requiring treatment, procedure or investigation that doesn’t require an overnight stay.  The unit will be led by Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACP), supported by a multi-disciplinary team.

Research shows that ambulatory care can reduce patients’ length of stay and, indeed, reduce the need for hospital admission in the first place.

The new care centre is expected to open, officially, in November 2016 and will provide treatment for some 20 patients a day. Such patients are currently seen in the Emergency Department (ED) – so this new centre will enable the ED to focus on those patients most in need of emergency care. 

Russell White, ME Construction’s project manager responsible for the work, said, “The new Ambulatory Care Centre is for walk-in patients and the disabled. We’re forming a new entrance off the High Street, with a ramped walkway entrance – and the existing entrance, which faces onto the ambulance bays, will be closed off.

“One of the key aims of this project is to segregate the public from the ambulance traffic – making it safer for everyone concerned.

“The project involves stripping out a stand-alone building that formed the main entrance to the hospital and fitting some 15 cubicles – to take patients coming from ambulances. In its re-fitted state, the building will make it easier and quicker for patients to get into the hospital from an ambulance.

“The main challenge for us during the work is to avoid causing any disruption to the ambulances – which will be continuing to do their vital work here while we’re working on the premises. As always, the key to success is for us to establish and maintain good communications with ambulance crews and hospital staff.”

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (LGT) was formed on 1st October 2013.  The Trust, which provides NHS services for people in Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and other parts of South East London, is responsible for NHS services at Lewisham Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich and 11 health centres in Lewisham. In addition, it also provides some services at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.

Working with its partners, the Trust aims to provide the best possible healthcare for local communities through:
• Providing consistently safe, high quality, patient-focused services;
• Creating a strong, unified, sustainable and well-governed organisation;
• Strengthening and extending effective relationships with its partners for the benefit of local people;
• Promoting a caring workforce through good quality leadership and excellence in education, and
• Securing the future of the organisation as a clinically-led, independent, and commercially viable Foundation Trust.