New Post-Surgery Unit Opens to Further Enhance Patient Care

9th May 2023
New PACU unit opened in Ulster Hospital in action

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust is delighted to open a new four bedded Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) in the Critical Care Complex at the Ulster Hospital.

The new bespoke unit is one of the first across all Health and Social Care Trusts to be fully operational with full bed capacity. It was funded by the Department of Health,  following the Review of General Surgery and the Elective Care Framework – Restart, Recovery and Redesign 2021. This funding allows the Trust to recruit registered nurses, nursing assistants, anaesthetists and pharmacists to support PACU.

Director of Surgery, Elective, Maternity & Paediatrics, Maggie Parks commented, “Patients are at the heart of everything we do and this is just another example of how we strive for excellence for our patients and for our staff.”

The aim of PACU is to deliver high quality care and enhanced treatment to high-risk patients for 24 hours after surgery, with 1 to 1 nursing. It will give patients a longer period of time with enhanced nursing care, to potentially avoid the patient requiring intensive care or high dependency car after surgery. The development of PACU facilities will also release critical care capacity previously used to support initial postoperative care for high-risk patients.

Maggie Parks added, “The Trust is delighted to receive this additional recurrent resource for four new Post anaesthetic care beds (PACU) on the Ulster Hospital site. This service will deliver enhanced post-operative monitoring and treatment of complex and specialist surgical patients in a bespoke area, by highly trained nursing, medical and other multi professional staff. This service will not only provide opportunities for our staff to further enhance their clinical skills, but will also provide benefits for our elective surgical patients.

“I feel extremely proud as it is a fantastic achievement for the Trust and the staff. The South Eastern Trust is the first Trusts to get the 4 full capacity beds open.

Interim Clinical Manager, Jennifer Hamilton said, “I am delighted to say that the South Eastern Trust is the first Health and Social Care Trust that has been able to go to full capacity with all four beds and have the require staffing required for that. This was down to excellent teamwork!”

PACU has already received positive feedback from patients who have been treated in the unit, with some saying they really feel they have benefitted from the extra care and treatment they received.

New PACU unit opened in Ulster Hospital group photo