New ambulatory care facility enables patients to return home faster

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An ambulatory care room providing specialist care for patients with respiratory conditions has been officially opened at the Northern General Hospital.

The room in the Brearley wing was opened by patient David Offler, who was treated at the hospital for a collapsed lung and emphysema.

The room provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and dedicated recovery area, for respiratory and hepatology patients who may previously have had to stay in hospital for treatment.

Suitable patients can be treated for conditions such as pleural effusion (a build up of fluid around the lungs), and undergo procedures such as ascitic drains (a way of draining excess fluid) and thoracoscopies (examination of the lining of the lungs).

Being treated in the ambulatory facility means they are able to return home more quickly and enjoy a better quality of life, while reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.


Mr Offler, 78, of Totley, said: “I was honoured to be asked to open the room. I was very grateful for the care I received in hospital. It was the first time I have been in hospital, and I came out feeling good. Anything that helps patients has got to be a good thing.”

The idea for the room came from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Give it a Go Week’ initiative, where staff are encouraged to try out new ideas that could lead to improved ways of working. Using the room led to significant length of stay reductions and a business case was developed to provide a permanent facility.

Dr Imran Aslam, Respiratory Consultant, said: “Previously some of the patients who we are now able to treat in the ambulatory facility may have had to stay in hospital on a ward for five to seven days.

“Now, suitable patients are able to come in, have their procedure and then go home. It makes things smoother and faster, and the feedback from patients has been very good.

“It is also an excellent environment to provide training to our respiratory trainees.”

Chief Executive Kirsten Major said: “It is fantastic to see how the initial idea back in 2017 has got to this point. We always want to provide great care in hospital, but we also want to engage with how patients continue to get better, and this is a brilliant example of using the resources we have to do that.”

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