New Ambulatory Hub At Ulster Hospital Praised

Patients praise the new ambulatory hub at the Ulster Hospital as it celebrated six month anniversary

The Ulster Hospital’s new General Surgery Ambulatory Hub, which opened in January, is able to investigate and treat patients away from the Emergency Department (ED).  

 General Surgery Registrar Jess Lockhart explained that the hub “is a way for us to investigate, diagnose and treat people without admitting them to hospital.”

She added: ““Since January, we have been able to see up to 20 patients a week. And patients, when here, do prefer the Hub setting.

“We have designed the hub in a way that is sustainable and we are getting a steady stream of patients through.”

The Ulster Hospital Clinical Surgical Specialities Manager Julie McClughan described how the hub and said: “The hub provides a different pathway for patients which takes some from the ED and some from inpatients wards and allows them to have their investigation and their treatment, so we can free up beds on the wards.

The ambulatory care service at the Ulster Hospital has been praised by patients.

“The patient will present to the ED and during their initial assessment, the Doctor may find that the patient can be treated in the hub.

“There is a criteria around that, you have to meet certain guidelines and be relatively well to attend.”

“The team will then arrange an appointment which can involve scans, blood tests and ultimately the decision on how to treat the patient.

“The feedback has bee very positive. The Hub is really a product of the Multi-Disciplinary Team, and it has been a real team effort by all to get the hub up and running.

“Ambulatory care has its place in the system but it won’t replace the ED or a GP service, it’s a different pathway for treatment and we are really proud to have opened our surgical Hub.”

Advance Nurse Practitioner Karen Boudou said that patients are finding the hub a “supportive service” as it marks six months in operation.

“Our referrals are patients who have attended the ED and who need prompt investigations and we are also trying to reduce the length of stay by using the hub as a support network.

“I enjoy having that time with the patients as my background was as a Ward Sister and it’s really nice to be one on one with the patients again.

“Our patients are getting the investigations they require without being in a hospital bed, which is something they prefer and of course is beneficial.”