Hospital gurneys

Innovative hospital unit benefitting thousands & easing capacity pressure

The innovative Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit at King’s Mill Hospital that looks to cut waiting times and reduce the need for overnight hospital admissions has treated more than 15,000 patients in its inaugural year.

Since its launch in June 2021, the purpose-built £2m unit run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has given patients access to the treatment they need efficiently and effectively in as timely manner as possible, with only 10% of the patients on the unit needing an overnight stay.

The unit delivers diagnostic tests, ultrasound scans, cannulas, echocardiograms and other types of care and treatment that would have otherwise required a short hospital admission, further stretching the already busy emergency department.

Dan Exell, Lead Nurse on the unit at King’s Mill Hospital, said: “It's important to realise that hospital isn’t always the best place for every patient to recover from their illness.

“For example, some patients with dementia who are used to a very specific routine, environment and their recognised carers can potentially become quite unsettled or disorientated by any changes to these factors. Most patients prefer to be in their own environment if possible and this can really help to aid their recovery.

“Rather than being admitted to hospital, if patients require further treatment but are well enough in themselves, they can now receive their treatment at the unit and then go home to recover in their own home. This is a much better option for them and frees up beds for our sickest patients.”

The unit includes 25 treatment spaces and five examination rooms and is staffed by a 15-strong team with a range of skills and qualifications.

Fran Steele, Director of Strategic Transformation, NHS England in the Midlands said: “We know how hard NHS and care colleagues across the Midlands are continuing to work to recover from the impact of the pandemic. The Same Day Emergency Care Unit at Sherwood Forest Hospitals is a great example of how trusts are innovating to deliver timely care for patients and striving to avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital.”

The trust’s Acute Medicine Service, which oversees the SDEC, has also been recognised as a national example of best practice by Getting It Right First Time, a national programme that is designed to improve the treatment and care patients receive by sharing best practice.

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NHE May/June 2024

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