NHS Ayrshire & Arran has approved a £27.5m programme titled Building for Better Care.
Major developments at Crosshouse and Ayr hospitals are expected to
begin in May, with Phases 1 and 2 providing what the Health Board describes as
“new, modern, fit-for-purpose facilities at the front doors” of the facilities.
‘Front door' is the term used to describe the point of entry for patients
attending hospital for any reason other than a scheduled appointment. An NHS
spokesperson described the planned developments as making it possible for
patients “to get rapid assessment by senior clinical staff at the earliest point
of their arrival in hospital”.
Included in the new facilities will be the
Development of Combined (Medical and Surgical) Assessment Units (CAUs) at Ayr
and Crosshouse, in line with the requirement of the Royal College of Physicians
that all hospitals should have an acute medical unit to deliver safe and
effective emergency medical care, and a redevelopment of Ayr Hospital’s
Emergency department (A&E) with resuscitation bays, high care areas and
cubicles, fully integrated with the minor injury unit and NHS Ayrshire Doctors
on Call (ADOC).
Dr Crawford McGuffie, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s
Associate Medical Director, explained, “Today, patients who come into hospital
either by GP referral or who turn up themselves, come in through the Emergency
Department. They are frequently admitted until a decision can be made about
their diagnosis and treatment. This puts pressure on the Emergency department
and on the wards to which these patients are admitted. We recognise this adds to
the time people have to wait in the Emergency department, and that it has an
impact on the number of beds available in our hospitals.
“The focus of
the CAU will be to provide rapid investigation and senior decision making,
provided by a team made up of a range of disciplines - doctors, nurses,
pharmacists and Allied Health Professions such as physiotherapists - working
“The aim will be to assess and treat patients in the
appropriate environment and then either discharge them or admit them to a
specialty ward if they need further care and treatment. The result will be that
more patients can be assessed and discharged safely, with appropriate treatment
and support, where previously they may have been