Improving patient experience with new day unit
A new day unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is helping to improve patient experience and ease pressure on beds this winter.
The teams moved from their old home on Gunthorpe ward into the new Aylsham Medical Day Unit just before Christmas. This has freed up extra beds for people needing to be admitted at one of the hospital’s busiest times of the year.
The medical day unit includes the endocrinology clinical investigation unit (CIU) which was the first day unit the hospital opened to prevent hospital admissions back in 1981. The day unit has grown enormously since those early days and is now open to all specialties. The new move brings more change – co-locating the day team with the discharge team in the Aylsham Suite, working together to help people be discharged from the hospital more quickly and to prevent many people needing to be admitted at all.
According to new figures, 90 bed days were saved at the hospital in January and 72 patients avoided an admission to hospital, thanks to the new facility.
The day unit enables patients to come up for the day to receive treatments that traditionally needed a hospital admission. This helps to maintain elective work at NNUH during the busy winter period and patients who require procedures such as intravenous therapies, blood transfusions, biopsies, lumbar punctures, liver ablations and iron transfusions are being cared for on the day unit.
Dr Frankie Swords, Chief of Division for Medicine at NNUH, said: “I’d like to congratulate the team at the medical day unit for providing an invaluable service. This means that vital elective tests and treatments have been able to continue at the hospital even though this has been one of our busiest and most pressured ever winters.
The unit has received referrals from a range of medical specialities and the numbers of patients benefiting from the facility increases week by week as the service becomes more established. I look forward to seeing how the day unit develops.”
Rebecca Turner, Deputy Sister at Aylsham Medical Day Unit, added: “We are a highly motivated, caring team and we are proud of the service we offer at the day unit.
The day unit is helping to free up hospital beds as well as improving the hospital experience for these patients. We also undertake paracentesis drains for liver patients, which greatly improves their quality of life. Patients are able to book their paracentisis drains with the unit at a day and time convenient to them.”
The Aylsham Discharge Suite can also accommodate up to 28 patients at a time as they get ready to leave hospital. Patients will move to the new unit on the day of discharge, providing an enhanced environment whilst they wait for medication to take away, transport and any other last minute arrangements which may be required before going home.