Building work costing more than £580,000 is being carried out to improve Lincoln County Hospital’s outpatients department.
The first phase of the refurbishment, which has already begun, will see the creation of a central reception area for clinics near the main outpatient entrance.
This will be followed by improvements to clinical areas including the upgrade of treatment rooms to improve access for disabled patients, particularly people in wheelchairs.
All clinics will remain open through the duration of the works, which are expected to continue until the end of the year, however patients are being told to expect some disruption.
Work also includes extra treatment rooms and new working practices to reduce disruption for patients.
Signs guiding people around the outpatient area will be improved along with the installation of more effective and efficient lighting.
There are more than 3,000 outpatient appointments a week at the hospital, making it one of the busiest sections managed by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT).
Sandra Hayes, the newly appointed clinical nurse manager for the outpatients department welcomed the improvements and asked visitors to be patient while work is carried out.
She said: “There will be some disruption as we will continue to run each and every clinic while the upgrade takes place.
“Some clinics will move to other parts of the hospital during the building programme and information about the nearest car parks and the best entrance to use will be included in appointment letters so it is important that patients look out for possible changes.”
More than 160 nursing staff, doctors and consultants work with administration and support staff to keep the 11 main outpatient clinics running. Clinics include orthopaedics, paediatrics, rheumatology, cardiology, podiatry and diabetes, and ear, nose and throat.
Sandra, who has 25 years of experience as a nurse at Lincoln County Hospital, said: “As well as improving the environment for outpatients, the hospital is devoting a huge amount of resources to improve patients’ experience while in the hospital as well the quality of care provided.
“Our intention is to see people within 18 weeks of their GP appointment and, unless it is unavoidable, we will give at least six weeks’ notice if we need to rearrange a clinic.”
Trust member and patient representative Roger Thorley said: “A lot of work will be taking place to improve the environment by way of improved lighting and redecoration in waiting areas.
“New direction signs with easy-to-read symbols will be installed to help guide patients and visitors to their intended destination points and one improvement all visitors will see is the new main reception desk, which should also help people get to the right place more easily.”