A SPECIALIST unit for children coming into the emergency department at Basingstoke hospital has been officially opened.

The Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) in Basingstoke ensures younger patients are cared for in a purpose-built area, away from other patients in the department.

The emergency department is now seeing more young patients than ever before, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, adding the PAU, which has been operational from the end of January, has already been shown to support emergency department and paediatric staff in delivering high-quality care to patients.

Katrina Mason, clinical matron for the emergency department at Basingstoke hospital, said: “We are so excited to be able to use our new Paediatric Assessment Unit as a dedicated space for younger patients who come into our emergency department.”

During a special ceremony held to mark the opening of the PAU, non-clinical members of the hospital team were celebrated and got the chance to see first-hand the positive difference their hard work has made.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke hospital, as well as hospitals in Andover and Winchester, said: “Our new Paediatric Assessment Unit is already proving to be beneficial to our patients, and it’s been fantastic to bring together all of the staff who have made that happen.

“It takes a whole team to ensure we are delivering outstanding care to our patients, including clinical staff, team members from estates, our domestic teams and more. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in delivering our new Paediatric Assessment Unit and our emergency department and child health teams for delivering high-quality care in this new specialist unit.”