THE majority of patients coming to Raigmore for procedures that will have them staying in hospital for 48 hours or less are now being housed in the short stay unit, which opened in July.
The unit, which is based in Ward 4C, will be open from Monday at 7.30am to Saturday noon and will have 16 dedicated beds accommodating patients from a number of both surgical and medical specialities.
Ron Coggins, clinical director for the surgery and anaesthetics division at Raigmore Hospital, explained that a significant number of patients coming into Raigmore only require a one or two-night stay for recovery and observation.
He said: “Our aim is to provide an efficient and safe service to patients receiving treatment from a number of different specialities, while reducing the risk of last minute cancellations due to bed unavailability.
“Historically the majority of patients cancelled due to bed unavailability will have been patients requiring relatively minor procedures. These beds in Ward 4C, which will be marked for short stay patients only, will help us protect the beds for elective procedures and therefore reduce the number of short notice cancellations.”
When short stay patients receive their appointment letter they will be given detail of their admission time and their planned discharge time, allowing them to make arrangements for friends or family to collect them.
Mr Coggins added: “Although it has only been operation for a short time it has been going well. In August 2016 we cancelled 45 patients due a lack of beds, this year for the same month we cancelled four procedures which were to do with the availability of critical care beds.
“We’re holding regular meetings to identify any issues but I hope that our patients are seeing the benefits of this new way of working.”