X-Factor star Lauren Platt officially opened the first purpose-built paediatric assessment unit of its kind in Essex.
Lauren, 17, cut the ribbon at Basildon University Hospital with her brother Lewis, 15, and spent time speaking with the young patients and parents, who have helped plan and develop the unit.
The Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) will be for children and young patients who need hospital treatment but do not require a stay beyond 24 hours. The young patients who will be treated in the unit either need to attend regularly due to long term health conditions or require treatment or observation – for example, following a fall – but do not need to be admitted to a ward.
The unit means that ward beds are freed up for those who need them most and that patients who do not need to be in hospital are able to go home much quicker.