Major changes are set for Bassetlaw Hospital with millions of pounds of investment.
There are plans for £17.6m to enable the creation of an ‘Emergency Village’ including a mini Children’s Hospital.
The current children’s ward at the hospital, which is a distance from the Emergency Department, was closed to overnight admissions in 2017 due to safety reasons related to staffing.
This means that hundreds of children every year have to be transferred to Doncaster Royal Infirmary if they require an overnight stay.
Under the new plans by Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group, more than half of those requiring a short time in hospital would be able to stay at Bassetlaw instead.
Health Scrutiny Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council discussed the plans during the meeting on November 23 and councillors agreed to a 12-week consultation period.
One of the options is for a new Children’s Assessment Unit to be built next to the Emergency Department with patients still being transferred to Doncaster if requiring an overnight stay.
But the “preferred” option is for the site to remain open 24 hours, lowering the number of patients who will need to go to Doncaster.
Dr Tim Noble, Medical Director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said during the meeting: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us.
“I was involved in setting up the Assessment Treatment Centre back in 2013 and would’ve dreamed of this opportunity to co-locate, but the funding wasn’t available at that point.”
Councillor David Martin (Ind) said: “It is great news for Bassetlaw Hospital, you must be chuffed.
“We know nationally that paediatric nurses have been very difficult to get hold of and it is a really good solution to the problem to co-locate them, and you will stop 60% of patients being transferred to Doncaster.”
Councillor John Willmott (Ind) added: “We all welcome an Emergency Village, it is a marvellous acquisition to the area and I am sure the people will welcome it with open arms.
“To have the service there and available is absolutely magnificent.”
Council documents stated: “The development of the Emergency Village at Bassetlaw Hospital offers possibilities to extend current same-day emergency care provision for ambulatory care, easier access to rapid diagnostics, integrated service delivery with primary and community teams and mental health.
“This positive change in the care pathway for children to ensure a permanent provision for overnight stays is possible due to the co-location of ED and children’s observation ward (currently some distance apart).
“This will mean fewer staff will be required which mitigates the risk of a shortage of paediatric nurses. The new development of a children’s ‘hub’ within the Emergency Village will potentially also increase the attractiveness of working at Bassetlaw Hospital to new recruits.”