New hospital ward to ease NHS pressures in Bath this autumn
A ten-bed halfway house hospital ward is being created to ease NHS pressures this winter.
The new initiative by health chiefs at Paulton Memorial Hospital is aimed at reducing the number of patients who are sent to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
Health and social care provider Sirona is to introduce what it calls step-up beds at Paulton which will give patients more intensive nursing support than would be possible at home.
All staff at the community hospital have been trained for the higher level of care being provided and an advanced nurse practitioner role has been introduced.
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It means some patients who may have been referred to the RUH by their GP could be treated at Paulton instead from Saturday.
Care could be provided for people with heart or respiratory conditions, chest infections, intravenous antibiotics, blood transfusions and remobilisation.
In total ten beds have been ring-fenced for direct admission and the aim is to speed up recovery.
Hospital matron Nikki Woodland said: “The new step-up beds will provide patients with access to more intensive nursing and therapy support than can be provided within their own homes should they become unwell and unable to remain safely at home. These beds will provide an alternative to admission to an acute hospital.
“It is envisaged that the tailored nursing and therapy care will enable patients to make a speedier recovery, therefore reducing the time patients are away from their own homes and their normal routines.
“By providing the beds at Paulton we are providing care closer to home and this often means that relatives, friends and carers are able to visit on a more regular basis and this is invaluable in aiding the recovery of our patients.”
Jenny Theed, Sirona’s operations director, said there would be 24-hour medical cover at the community hospital.
“We know that some of the acute hospital beds do get used for patients who could be treated at rehabilitation centres such as Paulton.
“This will mean many patients will be able to be cared for closer to home and their family and friends which also aids recuperation.
“And, of course, Sirona offers an integrated approach so we can provide for social care needs as well as health care in one go, making it a very holistic approach for those we are caring for.
“The move will also make sure acute hospital beds are freed up over the Christmas period, which is traditionally very busy.”