Appeal launched to equip Airedale Hospital's A&E unit

Supporters launch the appeal equip the new emergency department at Airedale Hospital

Supporters launch the appeal equip the new emergency department at Airedale Hospital

First published in News

The wheels have been set in motion to equip the new emergency department at Airedale Hospital.

A £100,000 appeal has been started to raise funds for three distraction walls for the children’s assessment and treatment areas, resources to help patients with dementia and state-of-the-art equipment to improve care for the thousands of people who will use the department each year.

Meg Crossley, consultant in emergency medicine at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Equipment such as distraction walls is so important for children who find coming into hospital, particularly in an emergency situation, quite frightening. They will be wall-to-ceiling and play a vital role in helping parents entertain their child if they become agitated or distressed.”

The new emergency department at the hospital in Steeton is expected to cost £6 million and be open in October.

It will provide separate adult and children’s waiting areas, a quiet room for friends and families to use during stressful events and better privacy and dignity for vulnerable patients and their families and carers.

Barbara Hodkinson, founder and co-ordinator of the national Butterfly Scheme, which helps hospital staff to care for and improve the health and well-being for patients with dementia, said: “Family carers find the process of supporting someone with dementia in a typical A&E environment extremely challenging.

“By creating a calmer, more reassuring area we can help patients to cope better and that improves the chance of successful care.

“Through its Emergency Department Appeal, Airedale is showing how forward-thinking it is in making the A&E experience kinder and more supportive for these vulnerable patients.”

Ann Christian, of LCF law in Ilkley, which is backing the appeal, said: “We support a variety of national charities but wanted to become particularly involved in a local charity where we could really make a difference. I’ve seen first-hand how good the distraction walls are when I’ve taken my own children into hospital.”

In 2013/14, 53,489 people visited the A&E Department and of those 5,012 were aged five and under. On a busy day, the department can deal with more than 200 patients.

For more details about the appeal call (01535) 294546 or e-mail charitable.funds@anhst.nhs.

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