Published: 15:45, 06 August 2021
| Updated: 15:47, 06 August 2021
Patients requiring urgent assessment ahead of surgery are being treated a new fast track hospital service.
The new Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) at Medway Maritime Hospital was refurbished earlier this year and is now taking in patients.
It is now up and running at the Gillingham hospital allowing patients attending the emergency department with symptoms that may require surgery to be seen quickly by the surgical team.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust says the work will provide a "brighter, more comfortable environment for patient care".
The trust says it aims to reduce the "unnecessary additional" waiting time in A&E before their further treatment with SAU staff seeing patients earlier and getting them to specialists faster.
GPs are also able to directly refer patients to the unit in cases where patients need a "quick on-the-day diagnosis" from surgical staff.
"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", said 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."