New emergency assessment unit opens at WSH
West Suffolk Hospital’s new emergency assessment unit (EAU) has opened to patients following a major £800,000 project to improve and modernise facilities.
The work, which has taken three months to complete, has seen ward F8 completely refurbished and reopened as the EAU. As part of the project, toilet and wet room areas have been replaced while new windows have been installed. The whole ward has also been redecorated using contrasting finishes to help reduce confusion and falls in patients with dementia.
Medical gas and suction has been installed to every bed space using a piped system, while call bells and power lines have been trunked in. A telemetry system has also been set up, which allows the cardiac team to monitor heart patients remotely using a screen located in the coronary care department.
In total, the EAU has 17 beds – 12 are in two bays, three are in side rooms and a further two are high dependency beds located near to the nurse’s station. A further two bays will contain three trolleys and an assessment couch.
Gwen Nuttall, executive chief operating officer at the hospital, said: “We are delighted with the finished EAU, which has been completed to a very high standard to provide brighter, more modern facilities for our patients. It represents a major investment which underlines our commitment to driving through continual improvements at the hospital.
“The new EAU is located directly above A&E, which will make it easier to transfer patients between the units. This will help us work more efficiently.
“We also hope that some of the additional features we have included, such as the contrasting finishes for those with dementia, will make a big difference to our patients and further improve the experience they have whilst in our care.”
Patients will be referred to the EAU, which is a short stay area, by their GP or A&E. They will then be assessed and tests completed before a decision is taken on whether to discharge them or admit them to the main hospital. The majority of patients will remain in EAU for between 24 and 48 hours.
The former EAU, which is located on the other side of the building, will become a flexible area which the hospital can use during busy periods or while deep cleaning is taking place elsewhere