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New West Suffolk Hospital unit to ease pressure on emergency department




A digital impression of the new ambulatory emergency care ward which will be part of the new acute assessment unit at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (3613128)
A digital impression of the new ambulatory emergency care ward which will be part of the new acute assessment unit at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (3613128)

A new unit is being built at West Suffolk Hospital to help ease pressure on its emergency department.

The acute assessment unit, due to open in December, will support emergency patients who need observation, diagnosis and treatment rather than major care.

They will be seen by a multi-disciplinary team, who aim to assess patients quickly and treat them the same day so they can return home with the help they need.

Those who need ongoing hospital care will be transferred to a specialist ward.

Helen Beck, chief operating officer, said the unit, behind the hospital's emergency department, will provide 'quicker access to specialists'.

It leaves the emergency department to just care for patients with major conditions or minor injuries that can be treated quickly.

Last month, 6, 564 people attended the emergency department compared to 6,161 in June and 6,494 in May.

Staff, who will be working in the new acute assessment unit, training on advanced life support skills in the in the Siklos Centre for Clinical Skills and Simulation at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (3613115)
Staff, who will be working in the new acute assessment unit, training on advanced life support skills in the in the Siklos Centre for Clinical Skills and Simulation at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (3613115)

The first phase of the unit is due to open in December and will be fully operational next summer when the ambulatory emergency care unit moves to join it.

The unit will eventually support surgical patients as well as those who have been sent to hospital urgently by their GP.

Debs Crelly, senior operations manager, said: "This new unit will modernise the way that the trust cares for its emergency patients."

She added that it will 'treat patients with a huge range of conditions and illnesses' and staff will need a 'variety of clinical skills'.

There are a 'few nursing positions left' for anyone interested in joining the team.

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