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New PAH unit benefits patients in their hour of need

8 February 2024

A dedicated medical unit has been established at Princess Alexandra Hospital to ensure patients can continue to receive exceptional care, day and night.   

The After-Hours Care Unit (AHCU) is a new solution implemented this year with patient safety and clinical education at the heart. 

All evening and night ward call shifts are now supported by doctors undertaking the AHCU rotation, allowing for more streamlined processes and co-ordination throughout the 24-hour cycle, including the effect on patient flow each day. 

The AHCU team of 14 house officers and 10 medical registrars now cover the after-hours shifts previously undertaken by doctors working from their home divisions in Surgery, Medicine, Rehabilitation, Mental Health and Cancer Services. 

With the added support of Director Dr Jack Lockett, education registrar Dr Catherine Lunter and AHCU Coordinator Katrina Kulczyck, Deputy Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Georga Cooke said the new model is a win-win for PAH. 

“We are very excited about the establishment of a dedicated After-Hours Care Unit, which is a great step forward to improve patient care as well the experience of our doctors working after-hours,” Dr Cooke said. 

“Every day our incredible staff care for hundreds of patients around the clock because we know emergencies can happen anywhere, and at any time. This new model of care improves our approach to after-hours care.”

She said the streamlined rostering reduced overtime and disruption to day jobs in allocated specialties which means the new model is equivalent to three extra junior doctors on the wards each day.

“We also have a real focus on teamwork and training for staff, with dedicated education opportunities and simulation sessions. 

“Junior doctors will complete the same number of ward call shifts they otherwise would have within the previous model, however AHCU allows for a mix of shifts across medical and surgical resident roles. This gives our staff a breadth of clinical experience across a variety of areas.”

The AHCU doctors receive dedicated interdisciplinary education with the ICU outreach nursing staff, to help develop a highly functioning team who will respond to emergencies on the wards after-hours. 

Acknowledging the contributions of staff which made the after-hours unit possible, Dr Cooke said she’s grateful for their dedication to PAH.

“Our staff make such a positive impact to their communities, and this is just another way we can provide a high-quality service to those who need us most.”

Last updated 8 February 2024
Last reviewed 8 February 2024

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