The Duke of Gloucester officially opened an emergency assessment unit at Watford General Hospital, as part of his tour around the town.
Prince Richard chose Watford as his first face-to-face visit since lockdown on Wednesday (June 23) and after chatting to many local charities, he made his way to Watford General Hospital.
The visit marked the official opening of the expanded emergency unit – almost 100 days since the unit came into service in March.
Since then, over 3,300 patients have attended the unit.
The expansion has resulted in additional beds, recliners and triage spaces, enough for 29 patients.
There is also an acute frailty service which provides intensive support to patients from a range of hospital, community and social care teams.
The new unit is said to provide a timely diagnosis for patients typically referred to by their GP or the emergency department or urgent treatment centre, helping their decision on their next stage of care.
During the tour the Duke of Gloucester met the chief nurse Tracey Carter and various members from different units who worked tirelessly to treat different patients during the pandemic.
Deputy chief executive Helen Brown also showed him the area planned for redevelopment where up to 90 per cent of the hospital buildings will be new. His Royal Highness also saw the groundworks for the new multi-storey car park for patients, staff and visitors.
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust chairman, Phil Townsend, said: “We were delighted to show The Duke of Gloucester how our new unit relieves pressure in the emergency department, improving the flow of patients through Watford General and preventing unnecessary admission. This gives our patients a much better experience of care.”
Later, the Duke of Gloucester visited Watford Football Club and heard how the club’s staff and volunteers supported the community response to the pandemic – including the sanctuary used for NHS staff to unwind and later have their Covid vaccinations.
credit: courtesy of Joseph Reaidi – Watford Observer