Outpatient hub helps reduce waiting times

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 8-Dec-2022

New community-based facility brings outpatient services closer to patients' homes

A new outpatient hub has opened aimed at reducing waiting times for patients in Northumberland.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has taken over the previously-empty top floor of Morpeth NHS Centre to expand its provision from the site where it currently operates outpatient clinics and other services on the ground floor.

It has been transformed into a bespoke space, initially for one-stop clinics for orthopaedics and plastics, which will operate in conjunction with the facilities downstairs.

Offering a modern outpatient environment, it will be known as Morpeth View, with the name selected by the outpatient nursing teams due to the facility’s third-storey views across the town.

Designed by P+HS Architects and built by Tolent, the facility has been built to a modern, flexible, and purposeful design to support the trust’s goal of developing innovative ways of delivering multi-disciplinary outpatient services.

The arthroplasty clinic will allow patients to receive a full work-up for theatre during the same appointment, which will help to minimise delays to treatment and provide a better all-round experience.

Scott Muller, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the trust, said: “We know waiting times are a key part of the high-quality care that we always strive to deliver.

The project is part of the trust's commitment to providing care closer to patients' homes

The project is part of the trust's commitment to providing care closer to patients' homes

“By having this new one-stop facility for patients having joint replacements, we will be able to reduce the number of times they have to come in, meaning there is far less chance of their operations being delayed.

“In addition, the new facility is a modern and comfortable environment, which will hopefully mean an all-round improved experience for patients who come to us.”

The plastics clinic will result in a more-streamlined process for skin cancer patients, who will have a clinical consultation and a biopsy or procedure in a single visit.

And the work will free up outpatient and operating theatre space each week at the trust’s three general hospitals.

 “The development of this facility in Morpeth underlines our commitment to providing as much care as possible in communities across the wide area we cover,” added Muller.

“It will also help to reduce our environmental impact through patients having to travel to hospital fewer times and being seen closer to home.”

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