IT’S being hailed as the ‘Great Ormond Street of the South’ and is set to have a “monumental effect” nationwide. 

Today we can reveal what the ground-breaking children’s A&E at Southampton General Hospital will look like.

New images show just how the £4.8million will be spent when the dedicated unit opens in 2018.

The facility is the first step in building a bespoke children’s hospital in Southampton.

But with a 2%-5% increase in paediatric activity every year, hospital staff say the changes can’t come fast enough with current conditions described as “totally inadequate”.

The hospital’s coastal location means that outdoor accidents happen all year round, with patients brought by road and air via the city’s busy traffic routes.

These cases range from minor to severe, with children treated for partial amputations, brain haemorrhages, and critical stab wounds. 

And as the number of incidents continues to grow, patients cannot receive as quick care as they need. 

The new facility is set to include a c-arm portable x-ray machine to allow manipulation of fractures; modern glass fronted bays in the acute assessment unit; a ligature free safe room for children with mental health problems; and a dedicated nurse practitioner 'see and treat room'.

Each area will be crafted to cater to paediatric needs and will be made up of six main areas: a reception, triage and waiting room; children’s emergency X-ray; procedural sedation room; acute assessment unit; observed treatment area; and a short stay unit.

Lead paediatric nurse Suzie Knight added that the increase in children with mental health issues means there is a greater need for suitable rooms at the hospital – where children feel safe and secure. 

She said: “As it stands there is only one side room which is used for these individuals as well as those with infectious diseases. 

“The room was not built with any windows or observation points and does not conform to safe room standards: this presents a critical problem as the need for mental health appropriate space is continuously growing. 

“One in ten children and young adults aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in the UK with the figure for those being admitted to hospital because of self harm increasing by 68% in 10 years. 

“Our current Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department saw 171 young patients admitted between June 2015 and March 2016 with overdose and self harm. 

“To help facilitate these demands, the new room will fulfil all standards, including being ligature free, featuring an extra door with a two way mechanism, a panic button and toughened glass on the bay front. 

“Having a dedicated mental health room will also avoid children being sent into the adult area when the isolation room is being used by an infectious patient.”

A-list actor Sarah Parish – star of hit TV shows Peak Practice, Cutting It and the mastermind behind the #2MillionSteps campaign which is raising the first half of the cash for the unit – said current conditions are “totally inadequate”. 

“This is a life saving hospital. It’s a Great Ormond Street of the south which is in a building which is outdated. It’s really important that we see it as Southampton’s Great Ormond Street of the south,” she said.