September 5, 2008

New Emergency Healthcare Plans Revealed.

By james knock

Patients in need of emergency medical attention could be seen quicker under a new hospital scheme.

The proposals by the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would mean new assessment units being set up at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal hospitals.

In the receiving area, patients would be assessed and sent to the appropriate doctor.

Currently, patients might be seen by the receptionist, nurse and a doctor before being sent to a specialist.

Hospital chiefs say the change would improve the standard of care and also save money as the hospitals become more efficient.

The project was revealed at a consultation meeting at Ribston Hall High School, in Stroud Road, Gloucester.

It was the first in a series of sessions to gauge public opinion on the proposals.

At the meeting, Sean Elyan, medical director of the Trust, said: "There are around 550,000 people in Gloucestershire. Sixty thousand people a year are admitted as an emergency to our services. One hundred thousand use one of our A&E departments in the county.

"In theory, in five years everybody uses our A&E services and that gives you some idea of the size of the problem."

Hospital bosses also plan to assess staffing levels on the wards. And he added: "We also need to make sure we only have people in hospital when they need to be there.

"Getting people into the right place and the right environment as early as possible is important."

Further public sessions outlining the Trust's plans will be held at Deer Park School, in Cirencester, on October 23, Tewkesbury Library, on November 12, and Sandford Education Centre, in Keynsham Road, Cheltenham, on November 27.

The discussion events will start at 7pm and refreshments will be provided.

(c) 2008 Gloucestershire Echo, The. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.