August 28, 2019

Short Stay Unit Turns 10

This week marks 10 years since the Short Stay Unit (SSU) was established at Northern Hospital.

Officially opened by the Minister for Health at the time, Daniel Andrews, SSU started out small, with only 10 beds. Now, it has grown to 23 beds with over 50 admissions per day.

Director of Emergency, Megan Robb, recounts her SSU journey, first becoming involved with the unit in 2013 as a new consultant.

“When SSU first opened, it was simply a place I sent patients to with no real understanding of its purpose and function,” Megan says.

“Today, the purpose and function of SSU is very clear – playing a vital role in providing timely care for all our patients. The Emergency Department (ED) would not be able to function without it!”

In 2014, Megan became the clinical lead of the then 14 bed unit, receiving approximately 14-20 admissions per day. In that same year, the unit expanded to 23 beds with consultant coverage from 8 am – 11.30 pm, and an increase in junior medical staff from one to two per shift each day.

The unit undertook a design project in 2015, which saw a change in the model of care, new pathways and an increased focus on the support SSU could provide to ED.

With these new changes, SSU increased its number of admissions to over 50 per day, which has continued to increase over the years.

Nurse Unit Manager for SSU/CDU, Lumnise Luma Gashi, became involved with the unit as a as new staff member over 10 years ago, working night duty one shift per week. Over the years, the unit has seen much growth and success, significantly contributing to emergency services.

Luma says the model of care is the best feature of SSU, focussing on high quality care involving patients at the bedside and reducing length of stay in hospital.

“We try to move them swiftly through ED to our unit, as we now admit from the triage desk and decrease waiting times for patients.”

“The team of nurses and doctors, ward clerks, allied health and PSA’s, all play an important part in the patients’ brief stay with us. It is the teamwork that I have enjoyed most and the gratitude from the patients whom we have shared part of the hospital journey with,” Luma adds.

On a final note Megan says, “SSU provides a safe, quality environment to provide short term ongoing investigation and treatment for our patients.”

“It is the team approach and can do attitude which enable us to meet the demand of ED, while ensuring the highest quality care for our patients – I am proud to be part of such a high functioning, innovative and caring team.”