New service means quicker assessment for potential surgical patients

Date: 09 August 2021


The new Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) at Medway Maritime Hospital was fully refurbished earlier this year to provide a brighter, more comfortable environment for patient care. The SAU allows members of the public who come to the hospital’s emergency department with symptoms of illnesses that may require surgery to be seen straight away by the surgical team after a brief assessment at the Emergency Department ‘front door’.

This means that potential surgical patients can avoid spending unnecessary additional time in the Emergency Department for further assessment. Instead, the surgical team on the SAU can assess patients earlier in their care journey, getting them the specialist care they need more quickly.

The service can also receive direct referrals from GPs, who can refer patients who need a quick, on-the-day diagnosis from skilled surgical staff of a potential surgical condition.

‘An important part of the service is our new Emergency Surgery Ambulatory Care (ESAC) unit for patients who are likely to go home the same day but need a surgical expert review’ explains Trust Surgical Consultant Dr Richard Dickson-Lowe. ‘Patients who come to see us directly will be seen and either admitted or discharged by the surgical team, rather than having to be seen by a number of other clinicians before they get to us.

‘It means that they can get the right care more quickly, including an urgent surgical procedure if necessary.’

  • Summary:

    A new service to ‘fast track’ patients who need urgent surgical assessment is now open at Medway NHS Foundation Trust.