St. Heliers Acute Medical Unit Ribbon Cutting

June 19, 2012 10:18 AM

Local MP Tom Brake, hospital doctors, nurses and other staff gathered today for the official opening of St Helier Hospital's new acute medical unit (AMU).

The ribbon was cut to the new unit (which was launched in December following an investment of more than £742,000 across both Epsom and St Helier hospitals) by Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington.

Tom met with Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins, Chief Operating Officer Karen Breen and the lead doctor for medicine at St Helier Dr Steve Hyer, before going on a tour of the AMU and declaring it officially open.

The AMU is a crucial part of the hospital, as it takes pressure off the busy A&E (accident and emergency) department, helping to reduce waiting times and ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment quickly.

Emergency patients attending A&E, who may need to be admitted to hospital are transferred to the AMU. The modern new unit has highly trained staff who assess whether the patient needs further investigation and provide all the necessary initial treatment. After assessment, a decision is made to either discharge patients directly home or admit them to specialist wards for further treatment.

Dr Dilip Shah, consultant physician in acute medicine (left) and Karen Breen, Chief Operating Officer, explain the benefits of the AMU to Tom Brake MP
Dr Dilip Shah, consultant physician in acute medicine (left) and Karen Breen, Chief Operating Officer, explain the benefits of the AMU to Tom Brake MP

Trust Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins said: "I would like to thank Tom for officially opening our new AMU today.

"As a Trust, we are passionate about moving forward and making continual improvements to the care we're providing for local people. By introducing the AMU, we have been able to modernise the way that we work and make sure patients get the very best from us during their hour of need. This has been a very proud day for all those involved."

St Helier's AMU is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is run by a dedicated team of newly appointed consultants, supported by doctors, nurses, therapists, social services and other healthcare staff.

Tom Brake MP said: "It's an absolute pleasure to have been invited to open St Helier Hospital's new acute medical unit. The benefits it offers to patients and local people are plain to see.

"I was also very impressed with the team who work in the unit and to see how different types of staff, including doctors, nurses, and therapists, are working together to provide care which is really joined up. This is clearly an innovative approach.

"It is excellent that our hospital has made such a huge investment in patient care at a time when budgets across the public sector are tight. However, I can see it is a very wise move and I'd like to congratulate all involved for making it happen.

"As we know, there is a lot of speculation about the future of certain services at St Helier Hospital. Today's opening, and the improvements it delivers, clearly shows that the staff here are focussing on business as usual and ensuring patients continue to receive the best possible care."

Dr Steve Hyer is the clinical director for medicine at St Helier Hospital and is in charge of the AMU. He said: "We are all so incredibly proud of the AMU and the positive impact it is already having for our patients.

"Although it has only been up and running for a short period of time, we can already clearly see that it's allowing our patients to get the care they need faster than ever before. By working more closely with our partners, including physiotherapists and social services, we can also plan for our patients' discharge more effectively."

The unit is made up of:

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