And now patients at Wexham Park can look forward to a similar investment under plans to transform services at the Slough hospital.
The results of the Care Quality Commission’s 2014 A&E Patient survey published this week (Tuesday 2 December) show that patients rated the Frimley department’s environment and facilities among the very best in the NHS.
A new organisation, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, has been running both hospitals since 1 October 2014 and bosses have announced that a new emergency department similar to the one at Frimley will be built at Wexham Park in 2016.
The department at Frimley Park was opened a few months after the previous national A&E survey was conducted in early 2012. It was part of a £22m building that included 24 separate rooms for seriously ill patients, one of the biggest resuscitation areas in the region, and a helicopter landing pad on the roof for air ambulances. The building also incorporates a day surgery unit with two theatres.
Prem Premachandran, Frimley Health’s chief of service for the emergency directorate, said: “We are really pleased with the results that are published for Frimley Park this week, which are a significant improvement on 2012. They show that our patients really like the design of our state of the art facilities and our cleanliness rating was possibly the best in England.
“This is really encouraging for our plans to rebuild the department at Wexham Park to a similar scale, design and quality. We’re hoping that work can start in 2016 and we will be consulting with our users nearer the time on the detail of the design to make sure that it is as good as it can be.”
The A&E at Frimley Park had a number of responses in the survey that were rated as significantly better than average, including communication by doctors and nurses with patients and with providing patients with good information when they left the care of the department. They also gave the service an overall rating that was among the top in the country.
The ratings at Wexham were also encouraging with nearly all scores in the middle range.
Mr Premachandran added: “The team at Wexham have been totally committed to turning things around and we are already seeing some big improvements. The department was revamped last year and there is
no doubt this has had some benefits, but the longer terms plans to rebuild it are really exciting, especially now that we can see the impact this has had on patient experience at Frimley Park.”