Friday, 21 February 2014

Streamlined hospital facilities

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 together.

“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 admitted.”

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