Admissions-busting hospital unit goes 24/7 to avoid overnight stays

Posted Friday, January 6, 2023 3:46 PM

Admissions-busting hospital unit goes 24/7 to avoid overnight stays

An admissions-busting hospital unit that offers ‘same day’ treatments to avoid patients having to stay in hospital overnight has been working around-the-clock this week, as staff work to manage NHS pressures.

Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust’s Same Day Emergency Care Unit – or ‘SDEC’ – has stepped up its operating hours as a temporary measure this week to become a 24-hour operation.

The move comes as the whole of the Nottinghamshire health and social care system remains under a critical incident that has been declared due to the extraordinary pressures that continue to be seen in local Emergency Departments and the high numbers of patients waiting to be supported to leave hospital.

The purpose-built Same Day Emergency Care Unit first opened in June 2021 and is typically open from 7am to midnight each day.

The unit is designed to carry out observations, diagnostic tests, blood tests, X-rays, injections, wound care, ultrasound scans, consultations and other tests on patients on the same day that they arrive in hospital.

By treating more patients on the same day without the need for an overnight stay, it is thought the unit the unit has helped to avoid thousands of overnight stays in hospital since the unit first opened its doors.

By redeploying nurses and healthcare assistants from elsewhere within the Trust, the unit has been opened around the clock this week as a vital step that is helping to reduce the number of patients being admitted into hospital.

That move has been a much-needed boost for the local NHS at a time when almost one in seven beds across the Trust’s King’s Mill, Newark Hospital, Mansfield Community Hospital and Sherwood Community Unit sites are occupied by patients who are medically fit to leave hospital.

Dan Exell, Lead Nurse on the Same Day Emergency Care Unit, said: “Every little really does help when it comes to reducing the pressures we are seeing in our hospitals right now and our hardworking NHS staff are going to extraordinary lengths to be there for patients when they need them most.

“We really are doing all we can to make every bed count and doing all we can to avoid patients having to stay in hospital overnight is one crucial part of that work.

“No-one wants to be in hospital longer than they need to and avoiding patients having to stay in hospital overnight is already proving better for patients, better for their loved ones and better for the whole of our NHS.”

Since becoming a 24-hour operation, the Unit has treated dozens of patients who come into hospital overnight and are either awaiting test results or are waiting to be seen by a clinician at the start of each day.

Since opening its doors to patients overnight, the Unit is also helping to move patients from the Trust’s busy Emergency Department overnight to allow staff there to focus on treating patients who need emergency care most.

“We all have a part to play in supporting our NHS this winter and one of the simplest ways we can call do that is by avoiding needing hospital care in the first place,” the Unit’s Lead Nurse continued.

“One of the most important things that patients can do is to think about the full range of services that are available to them before they come to our Emergency Department.

“We know that local pharmacies can offer great advice for less serious conditions and NHS111 has trained clinicians who can offer great advice over the phone.”

Here’s what you can do to help your local NHS this winter:

  • If your relative is due to be discharged from hospital and needs to be collected, please do whatever you can to help bring them home as early as possible. This will help our teams and free up a hospital bed for someone waiting to be admitted.
  • Only call 999 or attend A&E departments for serious accidents and genuine emergencies.
  • When you need urgent medical attention but it’s not an emergency, alternative support is available by visiting NHS111 onlineor by calling 111.
  • Pharmacies can also offer over-the-counter advice and treat common illnesses such as colds, sore throats, stings and allergies.

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