The Surgical Emergency Ambulatory Care (SEAC) unit the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has moved to Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) to help University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RLI SEAC unit moved on Friday 3 April to support UHMBT to make the best use of its estates, creating more capacity for patients with COVID-19.
The new emergency surgical assessment unit at WGH opened on Monday 6 April and will see patients with less severe conditions who are able to travel. A service will remain at RLI for those patients who are unable or unwilling to travel and patients with more severe conditions.
The unit at WGH will be open from Monday to Friday between 8am-6pm.
The SEAC unit sees a wide variety of patients from the Emergency Department and GP’s under a broad range of specialities including; general surgery, urology, orthopaedics, maxillofacial, and ear, nose and throat. The conditions may include appendicitis, gall bladder disease, sebaceous cysts and abscesses.
The unit also see fractures and swollen joints from the orthopaedic team; ear infections from the ENT team; facial swelling, facial fractures and dental abscesses from Max fax; and urinary retention, urinary infections, catheter problems (including changes), and renal stones from urology.
Dr Shahedal Bari, Medical Director, UHMBT, said: “The temporary relocation of the SEAC unit at RLI to WGH will help to increase bed capacity for patients with COVID-19 and thanks to the surgical team for coming up with this plan in a very difficult time to offer a safe and clean service.
“The move to WGH will ensure our patients continue to have the very best care and experience.
For patients unable or unwilling to travel from the acute site, a service will remain which will also be able to treat those too unwell to be considered for SEAC.”