Growth in day clinic services reduces need for overnight stays in hospital - Trust
THE recent expansion in the number and range of clinical treatments that can be done without patients having to stay overnight in Craigavon Hospital is bringing care closer to home, according to the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
Instead of packing a suitcase for a stay in hospital, patients are now just as likely to be attending Day Clinical Centres at either Craigavon or Daisy Hill Hospital for a few hours during the day for a growing number of treatments.
The aim of the Day Clinical Centres is to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and to facilitate earlier discharge for suitable patients.
Sister Shirley Tedford from the Day Clinical Centre at Craigavon Area Hospital explained, “Patients prefer to sleep in their own beds at night instead of having to come into hospital. Advances in treatment and technology combined with better organisation now means that Day Clinical Centres can provide advanced care and treatment to more people with many different and complex conditions.”
Craigavon’s Day Clinical Centre has nine beds and four recliner chairs. Patients can be treated for a range of treatments including blood or iron transfusions, intravenous antibiotics, glucose tolerance tests and other diagnostic procedures. The centres also offer gall stones procedures and biopsies for liver and kidney disease.
Shirley added, “There are numerous procedures carried out here but the important change to note is that until recently many of these used to involve overnight stays, now suitable patients can come in for a few hours, get their treatment and go home again.”
After 10 years suffering with Crohns disease and enduring many hospital admissions Patrick Murray is now attending Day Clinical Centre for blood transfusions and a course of intravenous treatment. He explains, “Over the years I’ve had numerous admissions for tests, surgery and pain relief. Many of these were unplanned and involved going through GP Out of Hours who directed me to the Emergency Department who then admitted me to a ward, each time repeating the lengthy paperwork process. Now I am on this treatment in the Day Clinical Centre, I come here directly for planned appointments without repeating the admission process each time and put in the few hours I’m here by reading or watching DVDs.
“For a blood transfusion, I previously would have been admitted to a ward in the morning and had to wait to receive the transfusion, sometimes late into the evening, needing an overnight stay. Now I just come in to the Day Clinical Centre, where everything is ready for me and I am home again in a few hours, back to my normal routine.”
Dr Gillian Rankin, Southern Trust director of acute services said, “Day Clinical Centres are transforming care and treatment for many patients across the Southern Trust Area. We are committed to bringing care closer to home and to avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.”
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