New care unit for over 75s opens at Queen's Hospital in Romford

New specialised care unit opens at Romford's Queen's Hospital

A new frailty unit intended to provide specialised care for patients over 75 opened at Queen’s Hospital today (May 17). - Credit: BHRUT

A specialist facility for over 75s not in need of emergency care has opened at Queen's Hospital in Romford. 

From May 17, these patients will be taken straight to a new frailty unit, bypassing the typical emergency department (ED) route at the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) facility.

The second of its kind, this unit is intended to get patients the specialist care they need and reduce waiting times for all those in the ED.

Staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of geriatricians, nurses and therapists, the frailty unit will be able to provide targeted care to vulnerable patients right from the offset.

Situated alongside the ED on the ground floor, it will be open 24-hours with services delivered in conjunction with local healthcare partners and the London Ambulance Service (LAS).

It joins the Beech Ward already in place at the King George Hospital in Goodmayes. 

Its creation is to improve the hospital's performance up against the four-hour standard and to bring down the number of people waiting for up to 12 hours to be seen.

The opening comes two months after the Recorder revealed that waiting times at both BHRUT facilities were getting worse.

A report - released in February - detailed that between May and November last year, more than 700 patients waited over 12 hours on trolleys, or more than one hour in an ambulance.

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It was also revealed that six out of 10 patients suffering with major emergencies waited more than four hours in January.

BHRUT's chief executive, Tony Chambers, said: “This is a great addition to our hospital for our frail, elderly patients, who make up a large percentage of our ED attendances and often end up spending longer than we would like in the department.

“By giving them the specialist care they need from a targeted team, we hope to be able to get more of these patients back to their own homes with support in the community, rather than needing to stay in hospital, which we know can lead to loss of independence for many of them.”