A new ward has opened at Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital for patients who are waiting to be discharged home after receiving care and treatment in an acute hospital.
Philip Ward is 24-bedded ‘discharge to assess’ ward, providing patients with the final aspects of care they need to support them to be ready for discharge home or to their next place of care, such as physiotherapy. The ward allows these patients to receive their treatment away from our acute hospitals, which frees up spaces for patients who do require care in an acute setting.
The ward forms part of winter capacity plans by UHDB and the wider health and social care system across the Midlands region to support and maintain the flow of patients through hospitals as pressures on the system remain high.
Hannah Timms, Matron for Discharge and Integration at UHDB, said feedback from patients has been really positive since the ward opened its doors:
“Having this ward here in Tamworth allows patients to receive the care they need closer to their homes, and also frees up valuable beds in our acute hospitals to help with the patient flow. Patients do really enjoy being here – it’s quieter than a big acute hospital and we’re surrounded by lots of green space and being able to see that out of the window makes a big difference to patients. It is a really nice environment.”
The ward opened its doors on 28 November after six weeks of intensive planning and preparation which involved setting up the ward with the relevant equipment, but also assembling a brand-new team.
Ward 5 has also been opened at our Florence Nightingale Community Hospital in Derby to provide a similar service to Derbyshire patients.
The ward combines UHDB colleagues who have come together from a wide range of specialties, alongside our partners from Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust, who are based on the ward to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to discharge by supporting patients with social care needs - providing a great example of how organisations across the region are working closely together to make the best use of our skilled NHS workforce.
Registered Nurse, Josh Sanchez, joined the Philip Ward team from the Endoscopy unit at Queen’s Hospital Burton, where he has worked since 2021 after moving to the UK from the Philippines.
He said: “It has been challenging as everything is new and I’ve never worked on an inpatient ward before, so getting used to the routines and new tasks is very different to what I’m used to. But I really like it here and all my colleagues are so supportive and have been really good to me.
“In Endoscopy, we only see patients on a day case or outpatient basis so don’t get to spend much time with them, whereas here, patients stay for longer so it’s nice to be able to spend time with them and really get to know them.”
One of the first patients to stay on the ward was 64-year-old Alastair McEwan, who was admitted after previously staying on Sir Robert Peel’s Andrew Ward.
Alastair was full of praise for the Philip Ward team and the environment itself: “I have to say it’s ace! Everything is spotlessly clean and is always kept that way and the décor is nice and bright.
“The staff are brilliant and have looked after me so well. Nothing is too much trouble for them. I would just like to thank them all. They sort out everything for every patient and are so friendly. They have really helped to put me at ease and made me feel comfortable.”
Sharon Martin, Executive Chief Operating Officer at UHDB, said: “Our community hospitals play such a vital role in helping us deliver care to our communities across Derbyshire and Staffordshire closer to their homes, and this is just another example of the brilliant work our community teams are doing.
“Winter is an extremely busy time for the NHS, and having Philip Ward along with Ward 5 at our community hospital in Derby helps us to continue to provide the ongoing support to patients during their discharge home or their next place of care.
“I am extremely grateful to the team for all their hard work in getting Philip Ward up and running in such a short amount of time. It’s a great example of working together with our partners across the health and social care system to make changes that improve the experience and care for our patients."