Older People’s Medicine (Medicine for the Elderly)

Older People’s Medicine (OPM) and stroke services are based around a multidisciplinary team approach that strives to ensure that patients are cared for holistically.

The department is one of the largest in the Trust in terms of patient numbers with around 180 inpatients under the OPM teams at any time. OPM also have input to the care of patients in community hospitals and within other departments at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

We offer a range of services such as a short stay ward (Holt Ward) , the Ortho-Medical Unit on Brundall Ward and the Stroke Unit (Gunthorpe Ward ). We are also involved with  the Early Integrated Discharge Team (EIT) and offer a range of outpatient services, such as the Rapid Access Clinic (for patients with multi-pathologies), the TIA Clinic (with Neurology) and the DATE Clinic . Our other wards for older people’s medicine are Loddon and Elsing Wards.

OPM strives to make improvements to services. This entails taking an active role in schemes such as the National Service Frameworks, Essence of Care, implementation of Royal College of Physician guidelines, the UEA School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, and the Clinical Governance programme.

The country’s first Older People’s Emergency Department (OPED) is helping to improve patient experience and reduce the average length of stay for patients over the age of 80.

The department, which is staffed by specialists in older people’s medicine, first opened its doors to patients on 18 December 2017.

The opening of OPED and the introduction of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) for patients within two hours of arriving at hospital has led to better outcomes for patients and for patients to be more likely to be discharged back to their own homes.

OPED is a multi-disciplinary team with specialist doctors and nurses working in older people’s medicine, Advanced Clinical Practitioners, pharmacists and the Early Intervention Team from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.

The team work closely with the Older People’s Assessment Service (OPAS), which has transformed pathways to allow GPs to book an appointment for a patient with a specialist geriatrician within 48 hours of referral.

The Older People’s Ambulatory Care (OPAC) service, also on Loddon Ward, allows patients to receive extra tests and assessments when they are brought into the hospital and can be discharged much earlier than previously.