Admission unit shows value to patients and staff

Patients at Borders General Hospital are benefiting from an admission area that has been specifically designed for their needs in what was previously the hospital’s ward eight.

After a six month programme of work, the unit admitted its first patients in the spring of last year and this week NHS Borders revealed it has enabled the hospital to cope with a larger number of patients.

It has been designed to increase the number of adult day case and day admission patients and better meet their needs by creating a more suitable clinical environment.

An average of 18 patients per day are treated through the specialist unit, and the aim is to cater for 2,000 day case patients every year. In the first year of operation the unit has contributed to a 135 per cent increase in orthopaedic day cases. This also means that the number of elective inpatients staying overnight has been reduced, as patients are treated as day cases where medically appropriate.

Health bosses say achievements include a reduction in the length of stay for patients; releasing time for ward staff to provide patient care; a reduction in cancelled operations; reduced pressure on surgical and orthopaedic beds, and an overall improvement in patient and carer experience.

Chairman of NHS Borders John Raine commented: “We aim to deliver high quality health care at the right time and in the most appropriate way and this unit enables us to do this. The medical and nursing staff have made considerable achievements through their commitment to providing an effective and efficient service to meet the needs of the people of the Borders.”

Charge Nurse Brian Rintoul added: “The ward staff have been delighted to receive positive feedback from patients who have been admitted to the unit, and have felt the benefits of the improved environment themselves too.”

The unit offers an admissions lounge for patients prior to surgery, a post-operation recovery area, and a further recovery area of recliner chairs for patients prior to their discharge or transfer.

It has two examination rooms, a clinical preparation area, a multi-disciplinary work area for staff and increased storage areas, as well as additional washbasins, toilets and assisted showers and changing rooms.