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New dedicated area for children will make Harrogate's A&E department 'less scary'

Emergency Department staff at Harrogate District Hospital in the new children's waiting area.
Emergency Department staff at Harrogate District Hospital in the new children's waiting area.
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The first-ever dedicated Children's Waiting Area in the Emergency Department of Harrogate District Hospital has been opened.

Funding from NHS England has seen the creation of a new 'rapid assessment' room which will stream critically-ill patients into the most appropriate life saving care.

But the money has also allowed the hospital to create a dedicated Children's Waiting Area in the department, complete with toys, games, balloon wallpaper and a 'natural light' ceiling display.

Harrogate's Emergency Department sees 600 children a month on average, and the Trust hopes that this new development will make their experience less daunting.

A spokesperson for Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust said: "A trip to the Emergency Department is never fun, but can be especially frightening for a pint-sized patient.

"The newly decorated and dedicated area in our Emergency Department is aimed at making the department a little less scary for our young patients and their families.

"This area will make sure a difference to the thousands of children who attend the department each year."

At the same time, the new triage room has opened so that patients can be 'streamed' into the most appropriate service, based on their clinical needs.

A spokesperson for HDFT said: "Streaming is a rapid assessment takes place to ensure patients with life-threatening illnesses or serious recent injuries, who most need the Emergency Department, are seen quickly and safely and patients who would benefit from primary care (or GP) expertise are directed into that service."