Patients to receive rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment

Patients are to benefit from a new way of working which will see them getting a quick diagnosis, swift treatment and be kept out of a hospital bed wherever possible.

Today (28 October), Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals have seen health professionals come together in a new way to provide an integrated acute assessment unit (IAAU) service which ensures people get the right care, at the right time from the right person.

Traditionally patients admitted to hospital from the Emergency Department (A&E) would be admitted to a specialty ward such as medicine or surgery. However, back in November 2019 the hospital launched the Medicine Acute Assessment Units (AAUs) which aimed to prevent long stays in hospital by effective and swift interventions from acute care physicians.

The hospitals have now taken one step further in bringing together medicine, surgical specialties and gynaecology specialities to create an integrated service – IAAU – with health professionals ensuring only those patients who need to be in hospital are admitted.

A doctor stood talking to a nurse at a nurse's station

Dr Anwer Qureshi

Dr Anwer Qureshi, the clinical lead for Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) and IAAU said: “SDEC is one of the many ways the NHS is working to provide the right care in the right place for our patients, to provide better quality and efficient care. It also helps improve flow in the emergency department. Under this model of care, patients with relevant conditions are rapidly assessed, diagnosed and treated without being admitted to a ward, and if clinically safe to do so, will go home the same day their care is provided.

“This is excellent news for our patients. For seriously ill people, a hospital stay is often unavoidable. However, with modern technology and efficient pathways, we can now offer many people access to rapid tests, review and plans from relevant senior decision makers on the same day so they may not need to be admitted to hospital. We know this is more convenient for our patients.

“It is also about improving the flow of people through our hospitals which in turn will provide people with a better hospital experience. For suitable patients, now we will be able to assess, give treatment there and then, or ask them to return to an appropriate area for further monitoring or treatment. This will also be a positive change for some of our regular patients with long term conditions who previously have had to stay for a few days.”

Ab Abdi, operational lead for urgent, emergency and unscheduled care, said: “This is an exceptionally exiting opportunity for our hospitals in providing an integrated urgent and emergency care hub which will help us to improve patient safety and flow.”

For those patients who need to be admitted it will either be onto the short stay area for up to 72 hours on the IAAU, or one of the speciality inpatient wards.

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