A hospital's multi-million pound shake up of its emergency department has won national recognition.

The new £6.5 million “emergency floor” at Worthing Hospital has been chosen as a development site by the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) future hospital programme.

This is a national scheme aimed at shaping hospital services around the needs of patients to make sure they get the best treatment possible.

The team at Worthing will work with and receive extra support from the RCP as it launches the unit.

Its progress will be shared among other NHS hospitals around the country as an example of excellence.

The 67-bed unit will cater for most adult patients referred for emergency treatment by GPs or direct from A&E.

Acute medicine consultant Roger Duckitt said: “It is an enormous accolade to be selected as a development site by the Royal College of Physicians. We are proud to be partnered with such a prestigious organisation.

“We believe it is testament to the forward thinking of our emergency floor project which will help us to improve the care to our patients and adapt to the future needs of our changing and ageing population.”

The RCP’s Future Hospital report noted it was not unusual for patients – particularly older people – to move beds several times during a single hospital stay.

The emergency floor aims to address this concern by focusing care around the patient, who will receive treatment led by one consultant, from a multi-disciplinary team, in a single setting.

It is hoped this will lead to shorter hospital stays and in some cases patients may not even have to stay overnight.

RCP future hospital officer Mark Temple said: “By enabling medical specialists from different disciplines to work together in the same place, patients don’t have to be moved around the hospital, and will have truly joined-up care.

“Many will have diagnosis, tests and a treatment plan in the same day.

“This will benefit all patients, but particularly frail older patients, who fare better if they are not admitted to hospital.

“We’re looking forward to working with Worthing Hospital and will disseminate the best practice lessons learned so other hospitals benefit.”