The Same Day Emergency Care Unit (SDECU) will enable staff to see patients in one day to free up beds on wards for the more seriously ill.
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s chief operating officer Simon Barton joined the unit’s first patient Kathryn Allsop to cut the ribbon at a special opening ceremony on Friday.
Patients must be referred to the SDECU via the hospital’s emergency department or through GPs, hospital wards, outpatient clinics, primary care or other healthcare facilities.
The unit carries out observations, diagnostic tests, blood tests, X-rays, cannulas, echocardiograms, injections, wound care, ultrasound scans, test results and consultations.
Emergency care lead, an A&E consultant, Ben Owens – who has worked at King’s Mill for 13 years – said feedback about the new facility ‘has been fantastic’ and ‘very positive’.
“We’re really proud of the SDEC unit, it’s a much better way of treating people – many of whom may not need to be admitted to a ward,” he said.
"In this unit you are assessed and treated in a chair, rather than going to a bed.
“This is a specially designed for the purpose. It will accommodate 25 people, it has excellent facilities.
"It’s a calmer place for the patients, bright, airy and there are lots of assessment rooms – and the chairs are two metres apart. It’s been designed with Covid in mind. Every patient has their own space with curtains and there are tea and coffee facilities.”
The trust’s chief operating officer, Mr Barton, also hailed the benefits of the new centre.
“The new unit will help us to ensure that our patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time,” he said. “We all want to get our patients home to recover as soon as possible, often the best place for their recovery.
"Our SDEC unit will help us to avoid unnecessary admissions where a stay in a bed wouldn’t benefit the patient.”
The unit is open from 7am until midnight, seven days a week.