Plans for new hospital unit to cope with demands on A&E

Ambulances outside the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.
Ambulances outside the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.
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A new unit is to be built at West Suffolk Hospital to cope with a dramatic increase in patients attending A&E .

The Clinical Decision Unit would treat up to 30 patients a day and would relieve the main hospital of between three to 15 admissions .

The plans, submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, would combat increasing pressures on A&E, which nearly 300 more patients accessed in April compared to the same time last year.

The unit would be built in a courtyard accessed via the emergency department and treat patients who need to be seen for more than four hours for further investigation and treatment.

They would remain under the care of A&E consultants with a maximum stay of 24 hours. Medical cover will be met by the emergency department.

The move follows a review by the national Emergency Care Intensive Support Team.

A document, prepared by the hospital’s planning agent Matt Kennington, said the benefits of Clinical Decision Units include ‘improved patient and staff satisfaction, improved quality of patient care, reduced health care costs, shorter lengths of stay, more efficient patient flow and decreased admission rates’.