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Work completed on A&E department at St Bernard’s

The Accident and Emergency Department at St Bernard’s Hospital has been expanded to cater to its growing demand.

The department has seen an increase in demand since it opened at St Bernard’s 12 years ago. The aim of the expansion is to reduce waiting times.

The minor injuries unit has increased in size meaning five patients can be seen at a time. Previously the room had the capacity for two patients.

As part of the refurbishment the department has been equipped with the latest infection control furniture and three extra stretchers.

“We are constantly looking at ways in which to enhance patient care and to deliver the best possible patient experience,” said the Minister for Health Neil Costa.

“The A&E Department is often the community’s first point of contact with St Bernard’s Hospital and we set out to continuously achieve the dual aim of delivering high quality, compassionate healthcare and also to improve even further the current average waiting times. The GHA will continue to work in conjunction with our dedicated clinical staff, patients and their families, to achieve an ever improving health care service.”

The department has also been fitted with a new ceiling and flooring, oxygen masks, and new call bells.

Additional nursing staff has been assigned to the unit, together with the recruitment of a new experienced A&E senior consultant, who will be responsible for the overall management of the department.

“Our Emergency Department is now treating 100 patients a day, a considerable increase from when the Hospital opened in 2005, where an average of between 50 and 60 patients were being treated daily,” said Dr Albrecht Kussner, Associate Specialist at A&E.

“The A&E remit has also widened since. We now run busy daily dressing clinics, administer intravenous medical treatments for patients who previously required admission, along with specialist assessments for patients returning from tertiary Hospitals.
This extension reflects an increasing demand for our services. Three more cubicles have been added to the Minor Injuries area. A new nursing station with computer access to medical records and monitoring equipment, plus ample storage for wound care materials, are now part of this new five-bedded area. Furthermore, three additional rooms were added to the Department, allowing for expansion and reconfiguration of our premises.”

As part of the A&E overhaul, GHA policies and protocols have been updated to standardise treatment for all patients, to improve clinical outcomes and ensure that patients receive the highest possible standards of medical care.

“A measure of success of the transformation within the Accident and Emergency Department is that the people of Gibraltar can see and feel the improvements being made within their health care facilities,” said Director of Nursing Sandie Gracia.

“The new and improved minor injuries area and Infusion room will provide extra capacity in a busy Department to help staff see and treat patients more effectively. For the staff it is reassuring that we have the backing of the Government to put practical plans developed by Nurses and Doctors into place to improve upon patient care and clinical outcomes.”

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