Cumbria Crack

New children’s A&E department opens at Cumberland Infirmary

Laura Hickford, healthcare assistant, Melanie Strong, paediatric A&E staff nurse, Katie Habebe, paediatric lead nurse

A new specialist paediatric accident and emergency department has opened in Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary today.

The upgrade has a bigger space and more specialist rooms to cater for babies up to teens.

It has been paid for using part of the £4m funding the North Cumbria Integrated Care Trust received to get hospitals ready for the winter.

Paediatric A&E, that used to have just one waiting room and one cubicle, will now include:

  • waiting room;
  • triage room;
  • a safe room;
  • high dependency unit;
  • three clinic rooms

Mike Schofield, consultant in emergency medicine and paediatric emergency medicine, said: “It’s easy to say that the new department will make a massive difference to children and the care we are able to provide.

“The new department is much bigger; it has a large waiting area that will be able to accommodate far more people than before.

“There is more space, more treatment rooms, better privacy provision, better isolation facilities, a dedicated safe space, a dedicated triage area for nursing staff and the capabilities of providing high dependency unit level care if required.

“I think the new area is a space that we can all be proud of and I can’t wait for it to become operational.”

Katie Habebe, paediatric lead nurse in emergency department, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to upgrade our facilities, and it means we can provide a more specific safe space for children when they come to A&E.

“It can be quite daunting waiting coming to hospital.”

The high dependency unit will enable the A&E teams to provide better care for those who come in with urgent care needs, while the safe room is an important addition to support children with mental health needs.

Katie added: “As well as better facilities for children, the investment means that we are also able to offer some exciting career opportunities for two paediatric staff nurses to join our team.”

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