Photograph: Alamy A new 70m specialist emergency care hospital is due to be built in Northumbria and will be the first of its kind in the country. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said it was looking for a construction company to build the new hospital from next year, which will be the first to have specialist A&E consultants on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The trust has earmarked a site alongside the A189 near East Cramlington, with the aim of ensuring fast access from rural areas of Northumberland. The development of a centralised emergency service will “significantly improve” the care provided by the trust, according to its chief executive, Jim Mackey. “This is a good investment in the health of our local communities and it also supports the local economy and provides much-needed jobs in the current economic climate,” he added. The trust, which will employ experienced medical professionals who specialise in the treatment of specific conditions or injuries, said that its staff have helped shape the design of the hospital, which will have a state-of-the art A&E department, admission and in-patient wards, hi-tech diagnostics and critical care, as well as a short-stay paediatric facility and a consultant-led maternity unit. The three-floor design will include wards which are arranged around a central nurses’ station, aimed at improving the ability of staff to observe patients and deliver high-quality care. In the main, it will only treat patients from Northumberland and North Tyneside who currently receive care at the trust’s existing hospitals: Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham. According to an invitation to tender in the Official Journal of the European Union, the trust expects building work to take two years and to begin in July 2012. Chris Biggin, emergency care consultant and strategic clinical director at the trust, said: I want to be able to take the best practice available worldwide and offer this to patients in Northumbria. “To do this, I see a specialist emergency hospital as the only logical next step.
Specialist medical refrigerators – perfect for care at home and care homes
As the trend of transferring acute care services away from hospitals to the community continues, the emphasis on personal care at home increases and so too does the pressure on social services and establishments to provide vital equipment to support nursing and care needs. Many patients who receive care at home or within care homes depend on vital medicines and drugs that need secure and safe storage in specialist medical refrigerators that provide strict temperature control. In such cases, domestic fridges are totally inadequate. Not only do they raise serious issues of safety and security, if the drugs are spoilt, the resulting wastage would prove expensive at best, but lethal at worst. Instead, specialist medical fridges such as Lec Medicals PE109c countertop fridge are especially designed for care at home and smaller care homes. Compact in size and with the option of a wall-mounting bracket and reversible door, such fridges boast a wealth of safety and security features that are unavailable on domestic equipment. These medical fridges are designed to maintain an internal temperature between +2 C and +8C, which is an optimum temperature range for storing controlled drugs and medicines. Quality fridges such as Lec Medicals also incorporate an integral digital controller complete with an external LED digital temperature display. Not only does this make it easier for the user to monitor the internal temperature without having to open the door, it helps prevent unnecessary temperature fluctuations within the fridge. To further eliminate temperature variations and to help speed up temperature recovery after the door has been opened, medical fridges are also fan-assisted in order to aid the flow of cool air around the fridge. Likewise, good quality medical fridges also come with a variety of alarms, including audible and visual warnings for high and low temperatures. These help by providing an alert as soon as the temperature begins to go too high or too low, so that immediate action may be taken to rectify the problem and prevent damage to the contents.