An acute medical unit will today be unveiled at Noarlunga Hospital to help reduce hospital transfers, reduce pressure on our emergency departments and provide local patients with care closer to home.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the 12-bed medical short stay ward will mean patients, in particular older, frail and vulnerable members of the community, can once again be admitted directly into the Noarlunga Hospital.
“The State Government is today delivering on our commitment to expand medical services at Noarlunga Hospital and provide better care for people living in the south,” Minister Wade said.
“We know that the population in the south is increasing, with the over 70s age group growing by 62 per cent over the next 12 years, and this ward opening is welcome news to them and the wider community.”
Minister Wade said the acute medical unit, which opens next week, will give people living in the southern region access to the care they need closer to home.
“About 30 patients a week will be admitted – many directly from the Noarlunga Emergency Department – so that patients do not need to be moved between hospitals or wait in another hospital’s emergency department,” he said.
“It will also take pressure off the SA Ambulance Service as they will be called on to transfer fewer patients to Flinders Medical Centre.
“We are improving South Australia’s health services to ease pressure on our emergency departments and deliver your care closer to home.”
Clinical Director of Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care at Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Craig Whitehead, said the ward will admit patients for up to 72 hours.
“The team will work closely with the emergency department to rapidly assess and discharge patients, or move them into the ward,” Dr Whitehead said.
“Staff in the ward will work collaboratively with the existing geriatric services to achieve the best clinical outcomes.
“We will support patients to either return home after their short stay or be transferred into specialist services.
“An increased senior nursing, medical and allied health presence across seven days will help to support early discharge through the coordination of out of hospital services.”