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Surgical assessment unit celebrates first birthday

24 Aug 2010 11:45:42

 Patients and staff at Rotherham Hospital’s Surgical Assessment Unit are celebrating its first birthday.
Almost 4000 emergency general surgical admissions have come through the assessment unit since it opened in August last year. To mark the event they decorated the unit with balloons and displayed facts and figures about the units first year.

A photograph of the surgical assessment unit team.The six bed unit was set up to make the admission process smoother and quicker for patients and to help support other areas at the hospital like A&E and the Medical Admissions Unit (B1).
Staff Nurse Andrew Buttle says: “Before we opened, emergency general surgical patients came in through B1 or A&E where the surgical team would go to assess them. 

Patients can now come directly to the unit from their GP which means they can get their care and treatment quicker. A&E has seen a big impact this year with 1500 of their patients coming directly to us for assessment, as soon as they were identified as general surgical. This has helped to ease some of the pressure on their department.”

Great grandmother Lilian Clarke, 89, from North Anston, was assessed in the unit and says: “My experience here has been really good. The staff have been fantastic, really helpful and they’re always happy to give you a hug if you need one. I’m hoping to go home this weekend and I’ve got my fingers crossed I will be well enough! I will be sad to leave the staff here though, because they’ve been really

The Surgical Assessment Unit has six beds in total, but can see as many as 25 patients a day. A dedicated waiting area has also been set up complete with a TV, newspapers and comfy chairs, for
anyone who does have to wait for an assessment.

Ward Manager Sam Burgin says: “We are trying to do everything possible to make the experience more streamlined and comfortable for our patients.

At times this can be quite a logistical challenge depending on the number of patients arriving at any one time.”

She added: “It has been a great first year and we have really seen a positive impact on the way we work. There’s a bigger focus on team work with nurses and surgeons working really closely together
to ensure the best, most appropriate decision is made for the emergency patients. Once patients are assessed they are either discharged to go home or if admission is required they are transferred into an inpatient bed on one of the general surgical wards.”


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