Accident and Emergency department now open at Southmead

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Accident and Emergency department at Southmead Hospital Bristol is now fully open.

The doors to the state-of-the-art unit, located in the new Brunel building, opened at 2am this morning (Monday, May 19). The department is also the region’s major trauma centre.

The old A&E at Frenchay has now closed but before the doors shut for the last time, a poignant blessing was held by one of the hospital chaplains and staff released balloons into the night sky.

Juliette Hughes, Matron, said: “We are really pleased with how the night has gone. We have been planning for this move for a long time and everything went as it should have.”

A double complement of staff was on shift at both the old and new departments to ensure the move was as smooth as possible and any patients coming to Frenchay in the last few hours were seen, admitted or discharged very quickly.

In addition ambulances were diverted to the Bristol Royal Infirmary for five hours, allowing staff to settle in.

Dr Kirsten Jones, Lead Consultant for Emergency Medicine, said: “The new department is just fantastic. The cubicles are much bigger and the department is better equipped in terms of IT. We also have a CT scanner actually located in the unit which will be used for trauma and stroke patients.

“The sheer size of the department coupled with the light and airy feel of the new hospital will be brilliant for patients.

“Leaving Frenchay after so many years was really sad but we’re excited and raring to go here at Southmead.”

From today (Monday, May 19):

  • In an emergency, dial 999. Adults should visit the A&E department in the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital Bristol. For seriously ill children, please continue to go to the Bristol Children’s Hospital
  • For adult and children’s minor injuries, please visit the minor injuries unit based with the A&E department at Southmead
  • If you are feeling unwell call NHS 111 for advice or contact your GP
  • There are also minor injuries unit based at Yate Westgate Centre and Clevedon Community Hospital. An urgent care centre is based at South Bristol NHS Community Hospital in Hengrove and there is an NHS walk-in centre above Boots in Broadmead (Bristol city centre). For more information about alternatives to using A&E visit http://www.thinkABC.org.uk