Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, visited Queen’s Hospital Burton on Friday afternoon to meet staff in our Emergency Department.

Mr Hancock viewed the hospital’s newly refurbished A&E department as part of the visit, as well as meeting a range of frontline staff and discussing the Trust’s preparations for winter.

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton has received £8.65m in capital funding from the Department of Health and Social Care (DoHSC) to help with expected pressures this winter across our hospitals.

The funding is being used to build a modular ward at both Queen’s Hospital Burton and the Royal Derby Hospital, which will provide the Trust with 56 additional beds this winter. An additional 24 beds are also set to be opened at London Road Community Hospital, to help reduce the strain on frontline services.

Mr Hancock was joined by Burton MP Andrew Griffiths on the visit.

Chief Executive Gavin Boyle was able to brief the Secretary of State about the progress being made to improve patient services at Burton and the community hospitals at Lichfield and Tamworth.

Mr Hancock was also able to view the extensive improvements made to the A&E department, which include redesigned waiting areas and additional computers to help stream patients to the right service as quickly as possible.

Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive, said: “It was a pleasure to host the Secretary of State at Queen’s Hospital Burton and discuss with him some of the different initiatives we’ve put in place to improve the services we offer to our patients. As a newly formed Trust, we’re constantly looking at new ways to provide an even better service to our patients. We want all our staff to be involved in helping decide how we can do this, which is why we’ve launched our Clever Together forum to allow all colleagues to shape our Trust’s purpose, vision, values and behaviours.”

Duncan Bedford, Executive Managing Director for Burton, said: “Providing quality care to our patients is and always will be our number one priority as a Trust, so we have prepared a detailed plan to ensure winter pressures won’t impact the high level of service we are able to provide to our patients. A key part of this plan is to provide additional capacity to deal with increasing demand, so we are building an additional modular ward on site at Queen’s Hospital Burton, which will be available by February 2019 and will create 28 extra beds. Providing these additional beds will help reduce the pressure on our A&E and allow us to treat more patients that need our help this winter.”

Dr Sarah Pearson, Emergency Department Consultant, said: “We were very pleased to be able to meet with the Secretary of State and show him some of the new services now available in the department. One new initiative we’re extremely proud of is our new ‘Sepsis Trolley’, which holds in one place all of the essential equipment needed to help quickly identify and treat sepsis. It is absolutely essential that antibiotics are administered as quickly as possible when sepsis is suspected, and by being so easily accessible, the Sepsis Trolley helps ensure that our staff are able to do this.”