CARE for elderly patients is having a revamp at Queen's Hospital with five new positions being created specifically for caring for older people.
The hospital in Burton will be training three senior nurses as advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) who will have skills and responsibilities similar to those of junior doctors such as being able to order x-rays and prescribe drugs.
The three ANPs will be joined by a specially recruited physiotherapist and occupational therapist and will provide prompt, specialist care for elderly patients admitted through the emergency department or their GPs.
Head nurse Julie Thompson said: "When a frail patient over 75 is admitted, one of the new ANPs will aim to see them within 30 minutes and make a personal care plan for them. The ANPS will be able to order x-rays and prescribe drugs so that the patient can start receiving treatment as soon as possible.
"The ANPs will work as part of a team with elderly care physicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
"The extra support aims to improve the hospital experience for elderly patients, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and get the patient back to their home – with appropriate support – as soon as possible."
The new initiative is set to roll out in November and the team will work 8am-8pm seven days a week with support at weekends from the therapies team.
Director of nursing Brendan Brown said: "We are continuing to develop our services, and this is one of a number of positive actions we are currently planning and implementing across our wards and departments demonstrating the commitment of this trust to provide excellent care for our patients."
Further information about care at the hospital is available at www.burtonhospitals.nhs.uk