The changes to emergency medical care are designed to ensure that people get the same high standard of care and chance of recovery whatever time of the day or week they go to an emergency department.
Emergency care in the future
The main changes affecting inpatient care for people with an urgent medical problem at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals come into effect after summer 2017.
Pinderfields will see all emergencies, including critically ill and injured patients. Most people who are picked up by emergency ambulance will be taken straight to Pinderfields or to the nearest suitable hospital.
Most people who come to the emergency department at Dewsbury or Pontefract and need to be admitted to hospital will be transferred to Pinderfields. Intensive care and high dependency care will be centralised at Pinderfields.
Both Dewsbury and Pontefract Hospitals will have a specialist team of emergency care doctors and nurses, including consultants in the hospital during the day and on call. Staff will be able to deal with a wide range of conditions and there will be staff with the skills to resuscitate people there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All three hospitals will deal with urgent conditions that can be seen without the patient having to stay in hospital. These include cuts, sprains, broken bones, head injuries, eye problems and skin infections.
Essential tests such as x-rays, scans and blood tests will continue to be available at all three hospitals.
Ambulatory emergency care
In 2014, we opened new units at Dewsbury and Pinderfields Hospital for people with urgent health needs who need rapid access to specialist diagnosis and treatment but do not need to be admitted to hospital. These units are known as Ambulatory Emergency Care Units. People can be referred to the unit from the emergency department or by their GP.
These units are being expanded at both Pinderfields and Dewsbury to ensure more patients receive the appropriate care and are discharged or admitted quickly. This frees capacity and speeds access to the correct specialists for the most critically ill patients.
Why is this better?
The proposed changes will:
- Lead to better outcomes for the most seriously ill patients by bringing specialist skills together with consultant cover for longer hours and at weekends
- Allow people with less serious or less complex conditions to access treatment locally
- This means patients will be treated in the right place, at the right time, by the right teams, with the right support.
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