Hospital unit helps to keep beds free | Latest news

Hospital unit helps to keep beds free

The AEC team A unit at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is saving 4000 bed days a year.

The Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) service, which has units in Pinderfields and Dewsbury treats referred patients on the same day thereby avoiding unnecessary admissions.

AEC units are designed to provide a more streamlined way of managing patients coming to hospital who would traditionally have been admitted. As well as increasing the number of available beds, treating and discharging patients on the same day has other benefits, including less risk of falls or contracting diseases.

Pamela Tolley, Lead Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Acute Medicine at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, was instrumental in getting the unit off the ground, she said: “We opened the unit two and a half years ago with no budget or dedicated equipment and I think it’s safe to say that the service we’ve put in place has surpassed even our expectations.

“Anyone would admit that being able to avoid a stay in hospital if you don’t need it is a good thing,” continued Pamela. “We see about 35 patients a day and less than one percent of those are admitted to a ward.

“We have fantastic support from other areas of the hospital, such as radiology and cardio respiratory who help us provide our service. This means we can send patients for X-Rays or CT scans and get the results back the same day. We also work closely with the medical infusions unit, so patients who may need a blood transfusion can do so without having to be admitted.”

The team on the unit is led by Head of Clinical Service Consultant Richard Shepherd who is supported by, two Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), 11 Trainee ANPs and four Advanced Healthcare Assistants.

“We have a very strong and dedicated team” said Pamela, “and a really positive working environment. We are proud of the fact that we can help patients receive the same high standard of clinical care as on a ward but in a much reduced time frame, thereby ensuring that every patient is treated in the most appropriate area for them.”

Douglas Parsons is one patient who has benefitted from the services of the AEC. The 84 year old from Cleckheaton was referred to the unit by his GP as he had a rash on his face. “My rash was awful,” said Douglas, “in fact after I had been treated the doctor told me if I ever saw anyone with the same thing to tell them to go to hospital!

“They sorted me out there and then though, there was no hanging about or need to be admitted. The staff at Dewsbury have always been great we have a laugh and joke, but you need to, it helps you get on in life.”

The AEC teams are also heavily supported by the volunteers across both sites, who help to transport patients around the hospital.

“There is no doubt our AEC units help patient flow,” continued Pamela. “Our Pinderfields team will soon be moving to a different part of the hospital where we will have more space to treat more patients. It’s hoped that this move will enable us to save 6000 bed days a year.”