Publish date: 17 February 2023
Since May 2022 Tameside and Glossop ICFT has been transforming its visionary plans to improve urgent care services into a reality, with construction work continuing at pace on the Emergency Department refurbishment.
When complete, the £20 million project will have created a state-of-the-art emergency and urgent care facility, combining a comfortable place for patients with a safe and efficient working environment for clinical teams.
Despite still being some months off completion of the full project, we are already starting to see benefits for both patients and staff, in particular within the recently redeveloped and relocated Mammography Unit, which now has a brand new home in Hartshead North.
Debbie Nelson, Lead Radiographer for Mammography, explained the benefits the new unit is bringing to staff and patients.
“The new unit is calmer and brighter. It offers flexibility to our workload which means in some cases we can see patients quicker than before.
“The unit has additional ultrasound facilities, so patients no longer need to travel around the hospital for tests - it has made it truly a one-stop service.”
“We have also been able to expand our service to offer tomography, which combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. This allows cancers to be seen clearly in women with dense breast structures.
“Looking to the future, we will shortly be getting a new vacuum biopsy device which will allow some patients to stay at Tameside for treatment rather than travelling to Wythenshawe.”
Jonathan Peacock, Divisional Director added: “The team have settled into their new facility fantastically well. The new environment looks and feels much more welcoming for both patients and staff. This is really important as it can be an extremely stressful and anxious time for our patients and by providing a comfortable and modern facility, we hope that it’ll improve our patients’ experience.
"In addition, it’s great to see this part of the redevelopment already deliver real benefits for our patients and our fantastic team working in the unit.”
One patient who has noticed an overwhelming difference is Dawn Hockey. The 41-year-old started receiving treatment for breast cancer in 2009 while in the early stages of pregnancy, and visited the new unit for a check-up two weeks ago.
Dawn, who is now a Mum to three boys, says the new space is brighter, lighter and makes patients like her feel safer at a time where they can often feel vulnerable.
“When I first walked in, I thought ‘what a massive difference’. It is such an incredible facility; private, modern and a much better environment,” Dawn said.
“With the way the old unit was laid out, you felt quite exposed and it could help create a greater sense of ‘scanxiety’ than what you already had before your appointment.
“The staff have always given me first-class treatment, and it is great to see them so enthusiastic about their new unit. They are excited to talk about their new equipment and, as a patient, you can tell it’s lifted their spirits, which lifts your spirits too.”
We shared a short video last week documenting the most recent milestone in the new Emergency Department build, with the installation of the steel structure that will eventually house the new waiting area. For the first time, members of the public and staff can see some of the changes taking place from outside of the Emergency Department. When completed the structure will provide a completely new look to the outside of the department.
In addition, when the refurbishment is finished the Trust’s Emergency Department will boast a new rapid assessment and treatment facility, and an expanded resuscitation area and a larger number of cubicles, to name just a few enhancements.
The Emergency Department work is scheduled to be completed in spring 2024.
You can keep up with all ongoing developments on the Trust’s website.