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09 August 2011

Building work will bring improvements to BRI Emergency Department

Improvements worth £1.5 million are being made to the Emergency Department (ED) at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI). From this week the area where patients with minor injuries are treated will be decanted to another area within the department to enable building work to continue and work will also begin on the patient waiting area.

Lisa Munro-Davies, clinical director of the ED, said: "This is a very exciting time as building work to improve the ED gathers pace. When the building work is complete all clinical areas will be located next to one another including having the observation ward within the department with our administrative offices located separately." 

The improvements to the ED are being made as part of the £80 million refurbishment of the BRI. Other improvements to the BRI include:

  • a new integrated assessment unit, bringing together all the clinical staff to assess and treat adult patients who need to be admitted to hospital
  • an urgent ambulatory care centre, adjacent to the emergency department, where the patients who do not need to be admitted to hospital can be treated and sent back home or into community services
  • a purpose built short stay unit for patients who are likely to be discharged within 60 hours
  •  a state-of-the-art intensive care unit and a helipad 

Like many hospital departments across the country, the Emergency Department at the BRI has grown over time. The refurbishment provides an opportunity to ensure that the correct services are adjacent to one another to improve care for patients and enable staff to work more efficiently. It also provides an opportunity to improve the environment. The resuscitation and "majors" areas will not be changed as they were updated recently. 

Work has already begun on the ED to install lifts from level two of the Queen's Building to the department and up to the roof of the building where the helipad will be built.  

Lisa Munro-Davies said: "People who come to our ED will notice building work. We want to reassure them that the high standard of care we deliver will remain although there might be some disruption and noise. All of the changes we are making are planned and the short-term pain of the building work will be worth it when we get an improved ED." 

In 2010/11, 64,000 people attended the ED at the BRI. Twenty four thousand of those arrived by ambulance and 21,000 were admitted to hospital. In the same financial year, 33,000 people attended the children's Emergency Department at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and 23,000 people attended the Emergency Department at the Bristol Eye Hospital. 

Anyone who is suffering from a life threatening injury or illness should not delay coming to our ED. However, for people suffering with more minor illnesses and injuries there are alternative resources available. 

Experienced nurses are available to treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries at the two NHS Walk In Centres in Bristol. The Bristol City NHS Walk In Centre is in Broad Street and is open Monday to Saturday from 8.00am to 8.00pm and Sundays and Bank Holidays from 10am to 6pm. The South Bristol NHS Walk In Centre in Knowle West Health Park is open from 9am to 9pm every day. There is a Minor Injuries Unit at Southmead Hospital which is open every day from 9am til 9pm and NHS Bristol also provides a GP out-of-hours service which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.