Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital celebrated what it hopes is a red-letter day in its treatment of non-emergency operations on Tuesday.
Too many ops have had to be cancelled at the last minute as theatre schedules have come under intense pressure.
But that could soon be a thing of the past with the opening of a new specialist unit.
The Elective Care Unit at the hospital was officially opened by retired QEH consultant surgeon, Robert Greatorex.
It has been formed by combining the former Denver and Elm wards into a single, 44-bed unit with both male and female bays.
Beds on the unit are being ring-fenced for elective (non-emergency) operations, which means they cannot be commandeered for other patients. The benefit to elective patients is that having beds reserved for them means that their operations will go ahead as planned without being affected by other hospital pressures.
Mr Greatorex said: “While I was here I tried for nearly 20 years to get such a unit established. I am delighted that it has finally come to fruition.
“We all know that the NHS is under tremendous pressure and I think this new unit will help the Queen Elizabeth Hospital enormously.
“It will improve patient safety and quality of care and this has got to be great news for the patients.”
n Nursing and medical staff at the QEH have launched a campaign to eliminate hospital-associated bed sores by the end of the year.
Already an innovation developed by QEH staff, to identify ‘at risk’ patients by using a magnetic pink dot on a ward information board, has been introduced successfully across the hospital. It is also being considered for use by other hospitals in the East of England.
Data submitted to the Health and Social Care Information Centre for inclusion in its NHS Safety Thermometer report shows that between May and October 2012, pressure ulcers within the trust were halved, However, increased awareness by staff and reporting of pressure ulcers has led to a rise in the number of reported cases at the QEH and a halving of the rate of bed sores from three per cent to 1.5.
Lead Tissue Viability Nurse Jenny Kelly said: “Staff are now fully aware of the campaign and as a result of the increased awareness reporting of incidents has improved. This has helped to bring the issue into focus and has made us all the more determined to make the necessary improvements over the course of December.”
Patients and their families are also being encouraged to help with the campaign – by making sure that regular changing of position, gentle exercise and frequent movement are encouraged, to prevent pressure ulcers from developing.
from three per cent to 1.5 per cent of some 500 patients.