Barnet Hospital exteriorA £6.5million redevelopment of urgent and emergency care (UEC) aimed at improving patient and staff experience is underway at Barnet Hospital.

Once complete, the redevelopment will ensure patients are seen and treated in the right place and at the right time, including those arriving by ambulance, and provide an improved working environment for staff.

Urgent and emergency patients arriving by foot will come in via an entrance at the front of the hospital where they will be assessed and transferred to the most appropriate area within the hospital.

If their illness or injury is more serious they can be seen in the emergency department (ED), while those with less serious conditions will be cared for in the Urgent treatment centre (UTC).

Currently only a quarter of urgent and emergency care patients are seen in the UTC. It is hoped that once the works are complete, 35-50% of patients will be seen there, improving waiting times for patients by creating capacity in the ED. As such ambulance hand over times should also be reduced, allowing paramedics to get back into the community sooner.

As part of the redevelopment, there will be a newly refurbished, more spacious area for the paediatric ED, a larger ambulance handover area and more purpose-built mental health rooms will also be provided.

Chief executive Deborah Sanders said: “This is a really exciting development for the hospital. We’re hoping these plans will make a big difference to patient waiting times in our emergency department and will ensure that patients are seen in the most appropriate location for them.”

The works are being carried out in three phases, the first of which is due to be completed by March 2024. The project will be completed by the end of 2024.