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The Chair of C&C DHB, Sir John Anderson (pictured, centre left) today cut the red ribbon to officially open Wellington Hospital's new MAPU.
A brand new Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU) at Wellington Hospital which aims to significantly reduce waiting times in the Emergency Department and greatly improve patients’ experience, was officially opened this afternoon.
The MAPU, one of the last sections of the new Wellington Regional Hospital to open, will be a key step towards improving the flow of patients through the hospital while ensuring people are seen sooner by those best able to treat their problem.
The MAPU is a 24-bed unit, which will include 6 High-Dependency Bay beds, with the remaining beds being used for medical assessments and the accommodation of patients who are expected to remain in hospital for less than 36 hours.
It is anticipated that about half of the patients will be discharged home after an assessment and treatment plan, or short inpatient stay in the MAPU. The rest of the patients will be admitted to wards for a longer stay in hospital.
Clinical Leader of Internal Medicine, Dr Robyn Toomath, said the new unit will make a dramatic difference for the hospital and patients.
“The number of patients we see in our ED is increasing every year and at times we get an influx of people all at once, which sees those with less serious complaints waiting long periods to be seen. Even after they have been diagnosed, they may have to wait for a bed in a ward,” Dr Toomath says.
“Some of these people are referred by their GP after having been diagnosed and could therefore bypass a repeat assessment in ED before being seen by a specialist service. This is where the MAPU can come in – it gives a dedicated area where patients can be seen promptly, perhaps have some procedures done, and also stay up to 36 hours without having to go to a ward.
“The key thing for patients is that it should greatly enhance their hospital experience, will help them be seen quicker by the best person to treat them, and in many cases, help them get home faster.”
Registrars and house surgeons from a range of medical services will operate out of the MAPU and the unit will be permanently staffed by nurses skilled in assessment and a range of procedures so that they can initiate nurse-led assessments.
The MAPU will start taking patients from 19 November, after staff have completed training and orientation of the new facility.