A new ambulance tracking system is speeding up treatment times at a hospital.

The Princess Royal in Haywards Heath has made a series of "innovative changes" to emergency care to make sure patients are seen more quickly.

This includes a new urgent treatment centre, a rapid assessment and treatment service and a new Ambulatory Clinical Decision Unit (ACDU).

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The University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said the new rapid assessment and treatment team has helped the Princess Royal to monitor and track individual ambulance arrivals.

The team has access to important patient details, including the extent of their injuries and their age, which means when the ambulance arrives at the hospital they can be treated straight away.

This has helped to reduce ambulance handover times, with the hospital ranking ninth across the country for quickest ambulance turnaround time towards the end of 2023.

A new scoring system has also been introduced in the emergency department to assess patient needs and make sure they are being treated in the right place.

This helps ensure beds are used for the sickest patients while others can be treated and monitored in the new ACDU.

This is a short stay unit for patients that need more clinical care but do not need to be admitted to hospital.

Since its launch in March 2023, it has seen more than 11,000 patients.

The new urgent treatment centre has also helped patients to be seen and treated quicker.

These innovative practices have resulted in the emergency department at the hospital receiving a £10,000 grant from the National Institute for Health Care and Research.

The money will help it to further explore the new scoring system and the ACDU.

Salwa Malik, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical lead for the emergency department at the hospital, said: "The team have worked incredibly hard and met each project head on with enthusiasm and determination to improve patient safety and keep flow going.

"We are proud of every new step we have introduced to make us more efficient."