The Princess Elizabeth Hospital has served the island well for over 70 years. But many areas are no longer fit-for-purpose today, let alone fit-for-purpose for the future.
The most obvious reason why we need to upgrade is the lack of capacity. We don't have enough beds now, which is causing delays in treatments and postponements of some surgeries. And with people generally living longer we have an ageing population with increasing health and care demands.
But it's not just down to a lack of capacity. Some clinical areas of the hospital date back to the 1940s and the PEH has been extended and modified in a piecemeal manner since.
- Inflexible design makes it difficult to implement new technology and new ways of working
- Not all departments are located in the best proximity to each other - eg maternity is on a different level to theatres
- Many areas are very costly to maintain
What does this mean for patients and staff across different areas of the hospital. Here are just a few examples
- Many wards offer a lack of privacy and dignity, due to open bay layouts
- The children's ward is not flexible for all ages
- A lack of space around beds makes it hard to use modern equipment like hoists, creating challenges for the nursing teams
- The Emergency Department combines minor and major medical cases in the same area
Our strongest asset is our staff but they currently lack adequate facilities to fulfil their vocation and deliver the acute health service that the islands expect and deserve.
Our hospital modernisation is clearly a necessity but it is important to reiterate that we are not building a gold-plated hospital. This is not a vanity project, it will simply deliver what is essential to future-proof our healthcare system.
That said, completing the modernisation will deliver widespread benefits:
It is all geared around improving the flow of patients through the hospital to make it as efficient as possible New clinical pathways will reduce elective surgery waiting times and acute bed stays, and support the broader health strategies within the Partnership of Purpose.