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Unplanned admissions

Sometimes you might end up in hospital when you don’t expect it. This is called an unplanned admission. If this happens you will normally come to the Medical Unit at the Calderdale Royal Hospital or the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. It is usual for all patients to enter the Medical Unit via the Medical Assessment Unit. Patients are referred for assessment from the Accident and Emergency department or your GP. This is to provide a central point of admission for all patients who require a medical assessment.

The Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) You will arrive at the Medical Assessment Unit directly from your GP – by ambulance or your own transport – or through the Accident and Emergency department. There are times however when beds are not immediately available and we might ask your GP to send you to the Accident and Emergency department first, or if your condition allows, to wait at home until a bed becomes available. After arriving at the Medical Assessment Unit you can expect to be seen by one of the nurses within 30 minutes and by a doctor within three hours. A senior doctor will then review you when the results of any tests are available.Consultant ward rounds take place twice daily – once in the morning and again in the late afternoon. 

At weekends and bank holidays they take place once daily. If you require a chaperone when any of the doctors examine you, please make your wishes known. Your stay on the Medical Assessment Unit should usually be no more than 24 hours. This can vary depending on the number of beds available and seriously ill patients who require certain treatments or monitoring might stay with us for longer. During your stay on the unit we do try to segregate male and female patients. However, there are times when we might have to admit someone into a four-bedded room and we will do our utmost to place you appropriately. If it is necessary for you to stay in hospital for further investigation or treatment you will be transferred to a ward most appropriate to your medical needs.

If, after investigation it is decided that you are able to go home you will be discharged direct from he Medical Assessment Unit or via the Discharge Lounge. Any medication you require will be given on discharge and any follow up appointment will be made before you leave or will be sent on to you by post. The Medical Assessment Unit is a very busy area but we will always strive to provide the best care possible to everyone. If you have any concerns or questions at any time please speak to any of the nursing staff, if they cannot answer your questions they will find someone who can.

If you need to stay in hospital for further investigation or treatment you will be transferred to a ward that is best suited to your medical needs, and as such you might be transferred under the care of a different consultant. In some cases it might be that you are under the care of more than one specialist depending on your needs.

All the medical wards have accommodation in four-bedded bays and single-bedded side rooms. Each bed has its own locker for your belongings and there is a nurse call buzzer, radio and night light behind each bed. The patient information system, including a television and phone, for which there is a charge, will also be explained to you on arrival. The side rooms have en-suite shower facilities, and are suited to patients who might have infections that require a degree of isolation, or indeed for those patients who might be at greater risk of contracting infections within a shared ward environment. The four-bedded bays are all single sex, although, depending upon the overall ration of men to women you might find a bay of men next to a bay of women.

Staff will ensure your privacy by closing the doors of each bay, and using curtains around each bed as a screen. The nurses’ station is in the centre of the ward and to either side are communal toilets, one with a bath and one with a shower. Both are clearly marked “MEN” “WOMEN” with a vacant/engaged sign to indicate if they are occupied. The use of these rooms is flexible so that the signage can be alternated for those preferring to shower rather than bath and vice versa. There is also a larger bathroom and toilet area between wards, which allow for those patients with, for example, severe mobility problems access to bathing facilities. Patients who are able will also have access to dayroom facilities and quiet sitting areas.

On your discharge day you may be transferred to the Discharge Lounge where you will be cared for by both qualified nursing staff and health care assistants, whilst you await your transport home. The lounge is a comfortable, relaxed area where both male and female patients can wait. It is equipped with television, radio, newspapers and magazines. You will be served refreshments and meals at appropriate times. Access to the Discharge Lounge is signposted both inside the hospital and outside from the main car park. To help us plan your discharge whilst an inpatient, please inform the nursing staff at the earliest opportunity if you feel you or your carer will have issues or difficulties which we can plan for.

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