A £10million project to revolutionise the way emergency treatment is given to patients in critical situations has been completed.

Bosses at the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust had a vision to transform the facility's former acute medical system of care - something that has now been achieved as a brand new multi-million medical unit opened its doors.

Located at the front of the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, the state of the art unit sees the existing acute medical units (AMU) merge into a single facility. This will also incorporate the enhanced, short stay Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit to form an ‘Emergency Care Village’.

The AMU department is used by patients who present with an acute medical condition.

The patients in the department will have on-going clinical supervision and will receive relevant treatment to help them return home more quickly or be transferred to a specialist bed.

Kevin McGee, Chief Executive for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “On average, 80 patients per day are admitted through our two existing Acute Medical Units. Bringing these units together will mean quicker access to senior medical staff for emergency cases and hopefully a shorter length of stay for our patients.

“As the new unit is located alongside our Emergency Department, the easier access and integration of the unit should help to ease the year-round pressure on our emergency care services.”

Jillian Wild, Divisional General Manager for Medicine and Emergency Care at the Trust said:“Having started this project two years ago, to see it come to life today is absolutely fantastic. I am overjoyed at how the Unit has been developed and the finished product is absolutely stunning.”

Matron Lesley Gaw who oversees Acute Medical care at the Trust said: “We have been looking forward to this moment for some time. The AMU team, our Estates and Facilities department and the contractors have all worked extremely hard. They have managed to keep this complex programme of work on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to their careful planning and measures that they have put in place.

“The new Unit will be instrumental in improving the flow of patients through the emergency care pathway. This will have a really positive impact on patient experience and staff morale.

The first patient to be welcomed onto the Unit was 58-year-old Mark who was transferred from the current AMU. He commented: “I feel very proud to be the first patient on this new Unit. The other ward was great but this is really lovely. It is bright, colourful and really lifts your spirits.”