STAFF have said a £1.4m injection of cash to redesign Warrington Hospital’s A&E department has made a ‘massive difference’ over the festive period.

Last year the Warrington Guardian reported the Lovely Lane hospital had experienced some of the busiest days in its history with more than 100,000 people attending A&E in 2012.

But a six month project, which started in October, is now helping to ease the pressure.

Kelly Burns, A&E matron, said: “It’s been full since we opened it so it’s obviously something we did need.

“We’re seeing patients more efficiently now and quickly.

“It’s made a massive difference as it means more consistency from staff and patients are being seen quicker because you’re not using locums who don’t know the process and how things work at Warrington Hospital.

“Attendance at A&E was just as high as last year, if not higher, over Christmas but efficiency is making things flow better.”

An increase in staffing numbers has also been praised with funding being spent on 15 nurses and six doctors.

The first stage of the changes occurred in October last year with a new resuscitation area with more bays for major cases coming in to A&E.

A new trolley triage area was then opened in November to ensure ambulance patients could be handed over to the hospital quickly and with increased dignity.

A hospital spokesman said: “The hospital has faced periods of sustained pressure on its emergency services over the last few months in particular, with higher than usual numbers of seriously ill patients attending.

“The changes have been designed to increase capacity and how staff work in the department.”