PLANS have been submitted to revamp Macclesfield Hospital’s A&E to cope with this winter’s demand.

Bosses at East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, want to create a new service where healthcare professionals ‘stream’ patients to either primary care or the emergency department.

The plans submitted to Cheshire East Council include extending the A&E department to provide a new reception, waiting area, assessment areas and three new GP rooms near to the entrance.

The existing entrance will be expanded with a new reception waiting and triage area in front of the existing A&E, and allow the existing reception area to be used for more initial assessment and treatment areas.

The extension will retain three disabled parking spaces but remove two standard parking spaces, which will be offset with more drop-off areas.

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The improvements are possible because of £879,000 from the Government’s Accident & Emergency fund and aims to help the trust to meet the 95 per cent standard of admitting, transferring, or discharging patients within four hours by ensuring they are treated in the most appropriate setting.

In recent years Macclesfield, like most hospitals in the country, has struggled to handle the sheer volume of patients, particularly during winter.

Hospital bosses have been forced to open more beds to cope with demand and issues calls for people to stay away from A&E unless necessary. In planning documents, architect ESE Project Management said: “Attendances at A&E Departments have been increasing, generally by four percent per year and improvement is essential to achieve acceptable standards and waiting time targets.

“This requirement has been reinforced by NHS England in requiring Trusts to implement change by October 2017, ie before winter which brings increased activity to A&E, and this is a condition of funding.

“For this reason the scheme needs to gain approval as quickly as possible.”

At the time the funding was announced Macclesfield MP David Rutley hailed the ‘positive investment’ to ‘help support the doctors and nurses who work so hard in that department’.