Dr. David Estwick
A number of major initiatives are under way at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in an effort to improve patient care and staff comfort at the institution.
Speaking at the QEH’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony, last Saturday, the then Minister of Health, National Insurance and Social Security, Dr. David Estwick, revealed that “in an effort to improve the level of service provided at the hospital, a number of projects have been initiated”.
Dr. Estwick stated that plans were ‘well on the way’ to expand the general Out-Patients Department into the area that once housed the hospital’s cafeteria.
“Within the design for the Out-patients Department, there are 16 examination rooms…five more than what currently exist. The rooms themselves are also much larger. There will also be better ablutionary and waiting facilities. With the revision of the appointment system and some additional staffing, the throughput within this department will be greatly enhanced,” he added.
Dr. Estwick stressed, however, that the expansion of the Out-Patients Department would not impact negatively on plans for a new hospital cafeteria and crèche. “A cafeteria and crèche are very much on the priority list of projects planned by the hospital. A site in close proximity to the hospital has been earmarked for the development of both a cafeteria and crèche in the very near future,” he said.
Mr. Estwick added that the hospital’s Board was considering a revised design for the Cardiac Expansion Project. “The demand for cardiac services at the QEH is such that patients have a six-week wait for some procedures to be done…a situation which is obviously untenable,” he stressed.
Dr. Estwick also revealed that the Medical Intensive Care Unit is set to undergo expansion, with an increase from six to 12 beds, while the Surgical Intensive Care Unit would see an increase from six to 24 beds.
He added that work would also be undertaken at the QEH to “stabilise the electrical capacity”, which according to Dr. Estwick is presently at its maximum. “This is a huge priority for the hospital and the work is expected to be completed within a year’s time,” he noted.