News & Media

Media Release

Date: 2 July 2021

Wera Hobhouse MP opens RUH's new patient assessment area

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has officially opened a new rapid assessment and treatment area for patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

The new Direct Assessment Area (DAA) was opened by Ms Hobhouse during a visit to the RUH today (Friday 2 July) during which she also toured the accident and emergency department as well as one of the hospital's wards for older people.

The DAA forms part of a £2.5m investment in the RUH's same day emergency care facilities, which has also included increasing capacity in the Emergency Department and expanding the Trauma Assessment Unit.

The new area provides rapid assessment and treatment for GP-referred patients.

Under this care model, patients can be assessed, diagnosed, treated, and if clinically safe to do so, will go home the same day their care is provided avoiding, where possible, a bed admission.

These improvements have helped to ensure that patients are triaged and cared for in the most appropriate location based on their clinical need, improving the experience they have when they arrive at the RUH for emergency care.

The emergency care improvements will also benefit ambulance crews, by improving their access to A&E to safely offload critically unwell patients.

Wera Hobhouse said: "It was an honour to open the new Direct Assessment Area and to see and hear for myself about the RUH's innovative ways of ensuring that patients have the best possible experience, which includes getting home swiftly.

"I also want to give my warmest thanks to all the staff at the RUH for their tremendous work during the pandemic. They have been on the frontline serving our community throughout this long and very challenging time and have my huge respect and gratitude."

Cara Charles-Barks, RUH Chief Executive, said: "I'm delighted that Wera was able to officially open our new Direct Assessment Area.

"The new area plays a key role in our continuing efforts to improve patient experience - ensuring our patients get the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

"It further improves our capacity to rapidly assess and treat patients, allowing them to return home if it is clinically safe for them to do so.

"The new assessment area is just one part of several major improvements we have made to our same day emergency care facilities, further improving the experience our patients have when they arrive at our front door for emergency care."

As the RUH's A&E department remains very busy, people are being encouraged to use the NHS 111 service. Available over the phone or online, NHS 111 is an easy-to-use resource that asks symptom-specific questions that can provide a person with details of how best to care for their illness or injury at home, or direct them to the most appropriate health and care service.

ENDS

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