County’s first A&E for children to open

Premier Inn Tunbridge Wells

Kent’s first specialist children’s A&E unit was opened last week at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, dedicated solely to providing emergency care to patients under the age of 16.

The pioneering centre is situated near to the hospital’s main A&E department in Pembury and has seven bays, a waiting room and a breastfeeding room.

A&E Matron Stella Davey said: “We hope this new facility will enhance and improve the services we currently provide for our younger patients and their families, and allow us to ensure they receive the best possible care in the most efficient way.

“To help run the unit 24/7, we have additional paediatric-trained nurses, nursery nurses and consultant paediatricians.”

The Tunbridge Wells Hospital League of Friends, local charity Emilia’s Little Heart and local company Neubies donated wall stickers, chairs and storage to the unit, to help make the environment more child-friendly.

Staff in the A&E department are currently undertaking a number of charity events to raise money for more distraction equipment and toys.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Glenn Douglas, said: “I am very pleased that we have opened a dedicated A&E for children.

“It’s a much nicer environment for our younger patients to be treated in and will mean that we can provide the best possible service in the most efficient way. I would like to thank the staff that have worked tirelessly to get the unit up and running.”

Last year, 14.1 per cent of all people seen at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s A&E departments were under the age of 16.

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