One of Wales’s major hospitals will launch a new Acute Medicine service this week to treat the increasing numbers of patients who attend A&E with complex medical conditions.
The Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant is one of only a few hospitals in the UK to re-calibrate the way in which emergency care is delivered, offering faster diagnosis and tailor-made care that will bring specialists to the bedside. The approach draws together some of the smartest innovations from international healthcare which Cwm Taf’s clinical leaders have pulled together to serve its population.
The service, which will be officially opened by the Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething on Thursday, will be located near the front door of the A&E department, allowing the right care to be brought straight to the patient, as well as easing the pressures on A&E.
Access to the service will be via a GP, paramedic or referrals from within the A&E department. It will be staffed 24/7 by acute medical doctors and advanced nurse practitioners, supported by a wider team of therapists and pharmacists.
Hospital A&E departments across Wales are seeing rising numbers of patients with several different medical conditions whose needs would be better met by medical doctors, rather than specialised A&E consultants.
Out of 60,089 attendances to the A&E department in Royal Glamorgan Hospital last year, more than 20,000 were for a range of different medical conditions.
Chief Executive of Cwm Taf University Health Board Allison Williams said: “The way we deliver emergency hospital care needs to change and we are embracing innovation in Cwm Taf to ensure we provide the most appropriate care for our patients.
“Over the last 10 years we have seen significant changes to the numbers and types of patients who attend our emergency departments.
“In addition to the trauma and emergency cases that people would traditionally think of presenting at A&E, we are also seeing a significant and growing number of people with multiple health problems that can deteriorate very quickly.
“It’s these patients and minor injuries who now make up the biggest proportion by far of attendances at A&E today which is why we are developing this innovative new model to reflect that changing need.
“We already have highly skilled nurses working in our A&E departments. Through the development of this new acute medicine service, the specialist A&E consultants and acute medicine consultants will work alongside each other ensuring that the right type of clinician with the right skills will be present at the front-door to appropriately meet the needs of patients.
“For those patients who need to be admitted to a hospital bed, teams of specialist physicians will back up the acute medicine consultants to ensure that care is better co-ordinated and patients can be discharged home more quickly.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Cwm Taf to lead the way in changing the way we deliver hospital care.”
Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The Royal Glamorgan Hospital will become a ‘beacon site’ for acute medicine, with the aim of strengthening care for those who will benefit from day case acute medicine; older people and those with complex, chronic medical conditions.
“The new unit will deliver a model of care fit for the 21st century and make sure people arriving at the hospital see the best person, delivering the best treatment, as quickly as possible.”