New emergency unit opens

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THE new emergency assessment unit at West Suffolk Hospital has opened following a transfer to the hospital’s first floor.

The £800,000 refit of the former F8 ward directly above the hospital’s A&E makes it easier to transfer patients between the two units.

Previously, the unit was on the other side of the hospital building. This will now be used as a flexible area which can be used when the hospital is busy or while deep cleaning is being carried out elsewhere.

Toilets and wet room areas of the former ward have been replaced and new windows installed.

The ward has also been redecorated using contrasting finishes which will help reduce confusion and falls in patients with dementia.

Medical gas and suction is installed to each bed space and a telemetry system has been created which will allow the cardiac team to monitor heart patients from the coronary care department.

There are 17 beds in all, 12 located in two bays, three in a side room and two high dependency beds near to the nurse’s station. A further two bays will contain three trolleys and an assessment couch.

Gwen Nuttall, the hospital’s executive chief operating offcer, said: “We are delighted with the finished EAU which has been completed to a very high standard to provide brighter, more modern facilities for our patients. It represents a major investment which underlines our commitment to driving through continual improvements at the hospital.”

Patients are referred to the EAU by GPs or A&E where they are assesed and tests carried out before they are either discharged or admitted to the main hospital. Most will stay there for between 24 and 48 hours.