Health unit to ease pressure on A&E

Staff at the new ambulatory care unit

A new, £750,000 health unit that will help manage the demand for emergency services and winter pressures has been officially opened at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Greenwich.

The new “ambulatory care unit” has been developed as part of a major emergency care improvement programme by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.

The unit reduces the number of patients requiring a stay in hospital. It allows patients, who in the past would have needed to stay in hospital overnight to be booked in for routine investigations, observations or treatments as a day case.

This means the patients can return home soon. If further treatment is required, they can be booked in for another appointment.

Medical director Dr Elizabeth Aitken, said: “The Ambulatory Care Unit is part of a range of initiatives to improve services for patients requiring emergency treatment. We have made improvements at the hospital and have worked with Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group, who have opened a new unit for elderly and frail patients in Eltham Community Hospital.

“With our care unit we are able to provide treatment for patients without an admission to hospital and ensure they see a consultant quicker, enabling them to stay at home and improving the patient experience.”

Staffed by consultants, nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants, the unit comprises six consulting rooms, one procedure room and six trolley bays with recliner chairs.

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