A purpose built unit, designed to provide better care and support to patients ready to leave hospital, has been officially opened at Milton Keynes Hospital on Wednesday.
The Patient Discharge Unit provides a comfortable and welcoming environment for patients ready to leave hospital, while they wait for medication, transport or community care provision.
Chief Executive of Age UK Milton Keynes, Jane Palmer, opened the unit and praised its introduction, saying: “This is a fabulous environment for people to come to when they are finishing being a patient and becoming a member of the public again.
“Our Home from Hospital team has been working well with the hospital for the past 14 years.
“In April alone we were able to help take home 22 people from this new unit and make the transition home easier for them.”
Jean Knight, the hospital’s head of operations, said: “The new unit is making the experience of leaving the hospital more pleasant for patients.
“They get to wait in a comfortable environment and are well looked after by nursing staff.
“It is also reducing pressure on busy wards. It means staff on wards can focus their attention on caring for patients, not chasing up medications or transport, and it frees up beds for the patients that need them.”
Jennie Barker, the hospital’s lead for patient discharge, said: “The unit will really improve the experience of patients waiting to go home from hospital.
“The unit is purpose built, with plenty of space and dedicated staff, and patients feel valued thanks to the extra support and care we are able to provide while they wait to go home.”
The new unit can support up to 20 patients, with separate areas provided for men and women.
The official opening was attended by hospital staff, as well as representatives from local care and nursing homes, community health services staff, health commissioners and organisations from the charity and voluntary sector.