Hospital launches specialised emergency department set up for elderly patients
A hospital has launched a specialised emergency department to provide dedicated care for elderly patients.
The new frailty unit was set up at Southampton General Hospital to assess and provide a treatment plan for older patients.
Normally 25 people over the age of 80 attend for emergency treatment at the hospital every day.
The five-bed facility, which has been in development for the past year, currently operates for eight hours a day but is expected to extend to 12 hours a day over the next few months.
Consultant geriatrician Gayle Strike said: “We have been working extremely hard to improve the quality of care provided to older people as they are often frail and tended to spend a long time within the emergency department prior to being admitted.
“Patients are identified as soon as they present to hospital and, rather than spending time on a trolley in the emergency department, they are taken to our dedicated unit which is a quieter and less disruptive environment.”
A hospital spokesman said: “Following assessment by a team of experts, which includes a consultant geriatrician, patients are given a clear plan with the aim of facilitating a smooth admission and minimising their length of stay.”
Dr Strike added: “With the winter months approaching and the additional pressures that will place on frontline services, the completion of this project will further help us to support colleagues in emergency medicine in managing demand.
“Through this access to specialist review, we hope to be able to get people back home where appropriate and, when that is not possible, to simplify their admission and minimise their length of stay in hospital.”
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