Opening of new unit at Dunedin Hospital puts patients at the centre of their care

A Medical Assessment Unit has opened its doors to patients at Dunedin Hospital.

The unit will care for patients with multiple medical conditions who don’t need urgent treatment in the Emergency Department, but who need assessment from doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

This quality initiative supported by the Southern DHB Commissioner team will ensure that patients are assessed and provided with the care they need, in the best place and are supported to return home as soon as possible.

The unit will be open seven days a week between 8.00am and 7.00pm and will receive patients from the Emergency Department providing a more focused, patient centred facility.

The majority of patients the ward will receive are likely to be older patients, who often require further investigations and care but not Emergency treatment.

The unit aims to improve the patient experience, ensure that investigations and treatments are quicker, and that patients are not kept waiting in the Emergency Department,” said Southern DHB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nigel Millar.

Located on the 7th floor of Dunedin Hospital’s ward block, the unit has eight beds/day chairs. It is staffed by medical, senior nursing and allied health teams (including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers).

Patients will be assessed on arrival at the unit and appropriate investigations and treatment will be undertaken. They will then either be discharged home, stay on the ward for further treatment/assessment, or go to an inpatient ward.

 “I’m delighted that the Medical Assessment Unit has opened at Dunedin Hospital. The opening of the unit signals another move towards a more patient centred model of care where services are brought to the patients, rather than sending patients around various services for care,” said Southern DHB Commissioner, Kathy Grant.

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