Elderly and frail patients will be benefitting from an innovative new service which is being launched at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn.
The acute frailty service has been launched to provide dedicated and high quality services for older patients, who do not need to spend more than 72 hours in hospital.
A 12-bed unit has been established on Terrington Ward which will help older patients on to the road to recovery.
The unit is supported by a “frailty pathway” to help identify and treat older patients with complex needs who arrive at A&E.
Frailty has long been a priority for the hospital with the establishment of the Windsor ward, which provides care for five to seven days, while those with more complex needs are treated at West Newton.
Hospital chief executive Dorothy Hosein said: “We are incredibly proud of our new acute frailty unit, which is having a huge impact on our patients.
“Every year, hundreds of older people arrive at the hospital with a wide range of conditions and this unit is aimed at giving them the best possible experience while receiving a highest standard of care.
“As a hospital which is striving for excellence, it is vital we tailor innovative services to meet the needs of the local population.”
Under the new pathway, older patients who attend emergency, are initially looked at by members of the rapid assessment team, who are now supported by a geriatric specialist.
This new pathway will ensure that patients are treated in the appropriate department, which could include the new Acute Frailty Unit.
Here, they will be treated by consultants, nurses and physiotherapists to ensure that elderly patients receive the appropriate treatment.
The unit will also work closely with community teams, care homes and social services.
One of the people who has helped to establish the unit, which launched on October 3, is interim clinical director, Dr Ishaku Pam.
He said: “The benefits for our patients are huge along with helping to reduce high pressure points for the hospital.
“We have an incredibly dedicated team who are providing a high standard of care to patients with a variety of conditions.”