Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s new state-of-the-art Outpatients Department was officially opened by Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health on the 9th June.
The department is a world away from the traditional image of a hospital clinic.
Heather Lawrence, Chief Executive, says: “Our new Outpatients Department provides an ‘airport style’ quality of service to patients including self check-in for patients, light and airy waiting areas, and ‘gates’ that patients are called to before their appointment so they are in the right place at the right time for their treatment.”
A patient survey was carried out to ensure that the new Outpatients Department was designed to meet patients’ needs.
Therese Davis, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Flow & Patient Experience, explains: “We asked our patients what they wanted from the new department and we have been able to introduce many of the facilities they asked for including self check-in kiosks, a coffee shop and baby changing.”
Dedicated treatment rooms for more minor surgical procedures reduce the need for patients to be admitted or attend a second appointment at the Treatment Centre. The treatment rooms also make possible ‘one-stop clinics’ so that patients can have all the tests they need during a single hospital visit.
Chelsea and Westminster’s Foundation Trust status has made the development of the new Outpatients Department possible—as a Foundation Trust, the hospital can reinvest its financial surpluses and access the Foundation Trust Financing Facility to improve patient care.
The development cost £2.4 million which has been funded by a combination of surpluses and a loan from the Foundation Trust Financing Facility.
Mr Lansley says: “This new development encapsulates the spirit of modern NHS—designed with patients and their views at its heart.
“Chelsea and Westminster was able to unveil this fantastic new facility for patients within months. Foundation trusts are free to make decisions more quickly than other NHS trusts—this means patients get innovative new services more quickly.
“Through their members, foundation trusts are connected with their community, and through their independence, they are able to act quickly. This is what we want to see for all NHS trusts—strong organisations that are sustainable and accountable to their local people.”