A new winter ward has opened its doors at The James Cook University Hospital to help alleviate pressure on beds.
In recent weeks the Middlesbrough hospital – like others across the region – has seen an upsurge in emergency patients needing to be admitted onto wards for care and treatment.
Now, an experienced team from across the trust has come together to staff the 32-place unit which has 18 inpatient beds and a discharge lounge for up to 14 patients, who are fit enough to be discharged, but are waiting for either family to pick them up, prescriptions or an ambulance to take them to a primary care hospital or care home.
This enables other wards and the accident and emergency department, which saw 600 more patients in December than it did the same time last year, to transfer patients to the winter ward, easing pressure on the system.
Winter ward manager Kerri Davies said: “The ward has a wide variety of highly experienced staff from James Cook and primary care hospitals caring for patients with differing needs.
“We are on-call to take patients from the under-pressure areas of the hospital, so the other wards can accommodate incoming appropriate patients – this in turn helps patient flow.”
Mandy Headland, managing director of integrated medical care centre, added: “The ward beds are a key part of our winter plan and enable us to care for the increased number of patients requiring admission to our hospital during winter and will remain open until the end of March.”