New £2m frailty assessment unit opens at Sheffield hospital

A patient receiving care in the new unit
A patient receiving care in the new unit

A £2m purpose-built frailty assessment unit has been opened at the Northern General Hospital to provide assessment and care for frail older patients.

The new unit, enables frail older patients to be assessed in an environment which has been designed specifically for their needs.

Tricia Fox, matron for geriatric and stroke medicine said: “We are delighted to be opening the brand new Frailty Assessment Unit which has been purposely designed to provide the most suitable environment to care for frail and older patients.

“The Unit has ambulatory assessment bays, where patients can be assessed from special recliner chairs rather than a bed wherever possible. This is much easier for patients who may be stiff or frail, and also means they can stay in their own clothes which is often more comfortable for them. Other features include a dementia friendly design which is open plan, colour coordinated areas and pictorial signage.”

The new unit is staffed by an integrated multi-disciplinary team who have received dedicated training to work together in a unique way to provide tailored assessment and treatment. The unit aims to enable patients to return home the same day wherever appropriate and the team work closely with other hospital and community services to ensure patients have any necessary support in place to return home.

If patients require further assessment or immediate treatment before they can return home, the unit also has 28 short stay beds and if other specialist care is required, the unit can transfer patients to the most appropriate department or ward.

The frailty assessment unit is conveniently situated within the Northern General Hospital’s Huntsman building, next to the Accident and Emergency department.