Work to transform Royal Surrey’s Emergency Department began on Monday following investment from NHS England to improve urgent and emergency care and help reduce waiting times.

Royal Surrey has received £2.8 million for several phases of work to improve its urgent and emergency care provision, starting with changes to the emergency department (A&E).

This work will begin in the A&E waiting area, which will be remodelled to create assessment spaces to help treat patients as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The building work will last around three months, causing significant disruption to the waiting room, resulting in reduced capacity. 

Patients are being asked to limit the number of people accompanying them during this time.

Matt Jarratt, chief operating officer at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that we are realising our plans to improve the environment and reduce waiting times for our urgent and emergency care patients through the building work we are undertaking.

“However, I recognise this will create disruption for a period. I want to apologise for that, and to reassure patients we are doing everything we can to make this area as comfortable as possible.”

The first phase of building work includes the remodelling of the streaming and assessment area in A&E, creating three new separate spaces for assessments by specialist nurses and doctors, as well as creating additional rooms for diagnostic tests and for preparing medication.

The funding will also be used to transform the Same Day Emergency Care Unit, an area used to treat those who need additional treatment or diagnostic tests but do not need to stay in hospital overnight, as well as the Frailty Same Day Emergency Care Unit, a special treatment centre for frail patients living with increased vulnerabilities because of their age.