New service transforming care for hospital patients

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A new service for people suffering from urgent surgical conditions is transforming care for a number of patients and reducing unnecessary overnight hospital stays.

The Southern Trust’s ACCESS (Ambulatory Care Craigavon Emergency Surgical Service) is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland to be led by a Consultant Surgeon, with its own dedicated clinical room, diagnostic imaging and theatre access.

The clinic operates Monday to Friday, for surgical patients referred from the Emergency Department.

Since it was set up last year, 264 patients have used the service, freeing up hospital beds for patients who needed them more.

Consultant General Surgeon, Susan Yoong who leads the ACCESS service said: “We had found that many patients who were actually well enough to stay in their own home were being admitted to an inpatient ward while waiting for investigations or treatment.

“Given the choice, most of our patients would prefer to get treated and go home rather than stay overnight in hospital and for many emergency surgical patients this is possible.

“Feedback from patients has been very positive from those who have used the service.”