September 2 2014 Latest news:
West Suffolk chief reporter
Saturday, March 15, 2014
An £800,000 unit that is helping to avoid unnecessary admissions at West Suffolk Hospital by providing assessment and treatment for short- stay patients has been officially opened.
Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley performed the honours and unveiled a glass etching at the hospital’s new clinical decision unit (CDU).
The facility, which was built in a courtyard next to the emergency department (ED), opened its doors to its first patients in December.
The unit provides care for patients who have come into hospital via the emergency department and need a few hours of monitoring or treatment before a decision is taken on whether to admit them to a ward or discharge them. This could include patients who are recovering from an anaesthetic, have suffered concussion or an overdose, are waiting for additional test results or need extra observation before they can be discharged.
The unit can cater for six patients in beds and a further four in reclining chairs at any one time.
Patients in the CDU remain under the care of ED consultants, and stay in the unit for a maximum of around 12 hours. Anyone who needs to stay in hospital for more than a few hours is admitted directly to a ward from the ED.
Jon Green, chief operating officer at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “The CDU has been a valuable resource since it opened in December, and it has helped us to successfully manage demand over the winter period.
“It is helping the flow of patients from our emergency department by providing an area where we can carry out any extra investigations or observations, in turn preventing up to 15 unnecessary admissions to the main hospital a day.
“This is good news for our patients, as it ensures they are receiving care in the most appropriate setting while also making sure the beds on our wards remain available for those in the greatest clinical need.”
The unit, which has been designed to use bright, modern colours and contrasting finishes to help people with dementia, has two three-bed bays so male and female patients can be treated separately. It caters for around 30 patients a day.