The majority of patients who visit our A&E will be seen within four hours. However for some, this wait is unfortunately a lot longer, particularly during the winter months when we see the highest volume of A&E attendances.
As part of our commitment to transforming how we deliver urgent and emergency care, our Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) service is back, following its pilot in November last year, and this time it comes with double the capacity and its own dedicated space within our emergency floor. While SDEC was open last year we were treating an average of 25-30 patients a day and this expansion will allow more patients to be seen by the right healthcare professionals at the right time.
SDEC will assess those who are able to receive their care on the same day and patients will be provided with a purpose-designed chair (pictured above), rather than a bed for the duration of their care. It is important to note that this service will not be used as a substitute to emergency admission where it is needed but instead provide faster treatment to a group of patients that would have previously been admitted for ward-based care.
Dr Simon Green, Divisional Director for Medicine explains, “we want to avoid anyone staying in hospital longer than they have to and a service like SDEC benefits both the patient and the hospital in many ways, including helping patients to return home sooner and freeing up valuable capacity in A&E for those genuinely in need of emergency care.”
Photo: SDEC team ahead of the service opening (Simon Green pictured to the far right)
When fully established, it is hoped that the delivery of SDEC means that up to 35 more inpatient beds will be made available for patients that need to be cared for overnight.
At the same time as relaunching our SDEC service we are also introducing a new Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) for acute general surgery and urology patients.
“SAU is a short stay facility that will help to streamline the admission process for surgical patients, ensuring timely assessment, preparation and coordination, leading to reduced waiting times and improved overall patient care,” says Mr John Peters, Divisional Director for Surgery.
Our staff in A&E or your doctor will refer patients to these services following an initial assessment and if appropriate.
We’ve also moved and expanded our Frailty Assessment Unit (FAU). We want more of our frail patients to have quicker access to specialist frailty consultant-led multidisciplinary treatment to reduce the time spent in A&E and, in conjunction with our new Frailty Virtual Ward, help those who can have their treatment provided in the comfort of their own home to do so.
A big thank you to all those involved in delivering these services for our patients.