March 2017 update for the Emergency Department redevelopment

The emergency department (ED) redevelopment project, which will transform facilities at the Royal Free Hospital, is taking place in phases in order to minimise disruptions to patients and staff.

The new facilities which the project has already delivered include the brand new entrance, waiting area and reception, and the new urgent care centre and  dedicated paediatric department.

The new reception area has been designed to feel less clinical and more welcoming to patients.  Colourful and comfortable seating has been provided for patients waiting to be seen and glass has been omitted from the reception desk, with the aim of breaking down barriers between the receptionists and patients to make the reception area feel more open and friendly. The new design has had positive feedback from patients who have visited the ED, with many commenting that entering the department no longer feels like walking into a hospital setting.

Last year the dedicated paediatric ED opened and has a number of features that help staff deliver better care for patients, including an interactive white board in the waiting room to keep children entertained while they wait to be seen. There are also paediatric observation bays containing chairs that turn into beds so that parents can remain with their children overnight.

The remaining construction work will run until Summer 2018 and includes the creation of a dedicated rapid assessment and triage area, a resuscitation area and a new imaging department.