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Wrexham Maelor Hospital opens new Surgical Same Day Emergency Care unit to help improve patient treatment time


A new Surgical Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) unit has opened at Wrexham Maelor Hospital for patients to gain quicker and easier access for surgical conditions. 

Surgical SDEC is for adult surgical patients who are referred from their GP, the Urgent Primary Care Centre, or who have been seen and reviewed in the Emergency Department, to improve treatment times and relieve hospital pressures. 

The consultant led service will rapidly assess, diagnose and treat eligible patients before discharging them home to recover, without being admitted, and if clinically safe, patients could go home the same day they receive care. 

The unit will treat patients for various surgical conditions such as severe stomach pain like acute appendicitis, hernia related issues, and post-surgery infections. Most patients who are referred do not require surgery and after diagnostic tests and assessments could be managed at home rather than as an inpatient in the hospital. 

Interim Head of Nursing Ellie Kite, said: “There are significant benefits associated with treating people through our Surgical SDEC services, including the ability for patients to be assessed, diagnosed in a timely manner, which is improving patient experience, patients time in the Emergency department and reducing hospital admissions. 

“The service will help avoid unplanned and longer than necessary stays in hospitals, resulting in lower risk of infections and de-conditioning for patients, as well as cost savings for the hospital, and often for the patients too.” 

Kelly Snowden, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, said: “Surgical Same Day Emergency Care is a philosophy of care in which all emergency patients should be considered ambulatory, meaning as an outpatient rather than admitted as an inpatient, until proven otherwise, whereas historically all emergency patients were allocated inpatient beds with the concept of ‘admit to assess’, however over the years demand for emergency services has surpassed resources and as such Surgical SDEC units have been developed. 

“The aims of our Surgical SDEC are to reduce the number of GP patient referrals coming into the Emergency Department, and fast track appropriate self-presenting Emergency Department patients who may be suitable for our Surgical SDEC to facilitate prompt assessment, access to diagnostic services and early access to senior decision makers, in order to possibly start treatment and allow for the safe same day discharge or a time appropriate follow-up and/or investigation. 

“All patients considered ambulatory can be assessed in the Surgical SDEC if they meet our inclusion criteria. We also work very closely with our primary care providers to ensure that this service can be utilised appropriately, and streamlined in order to provide safe and efficient patient care.” 

The unit will also introduce a Consultant of the Week, which will enable earlier consultant review and therefore quicker diagnosis and treatment. It will also ensure that the Emergency Department space is used for patients that need emergency care and surgical patients are in the correct setting.