EEAST announces new pathway for nurses looking to "join frontline"

New ambulance hubs and discharge lounges to tackle urgent care waits

The UK government has announced the opening of six new ambulance hubs along with the opening and upgrading of 42 discharge lounges across the country, as part of efforts to help cut urgent and emergency care waiting times. The facilities are backed by the £50 million investment announced earlier in the year.

The new ambulance hubs will provide more space for ambulances to hand patients over to hospital care, with the aim of “cutting out unnecessary delays and getting ambulances back on the road faster”. The new hubs are opening at two hospitals in Leicester, along with Telford, Romford, Doncaster and South Tees.

Similarly, the discharge lounges will create more space and release capacity in hospitals by providing a “comfortable environment with TVs, hot meals and discharge lounge nurses to attend to people’s needs whilst they are waiting”. Patients who are due to be discharged on that day but are still waiting for medication or transportation will be able to benefit from the lounges, whilst freeing up their bed and thus reducing waiting times for people waiting to be admitted from A&E.

The government estimates that the discharge lounges will provide an additional 439 beds, 364 chairs and 44 trolleys across the country. A full list of the sites involved can be found here.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, NHSE national director of integrated urgent and emergency care and NHSE deputy chief operating officer, commented: These dedicated spaces, alongside the range of actions we have outlined in our urgent and emergency care recovery plan, including thousands of new beds, hundreds of new ambulances and measures to help treat more people in the community, will help us further improve patient experience and help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions ahead of next winter.”