A new hospital ward has opened at Finchley Memorial Hospital to support patients discharged from local acute hospitals, notably Barnet Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital. The 17-bed unit at Adams Ward will care for patients who are ready to leave the acute hospital but require ongoing assessment before returning home (known as ‘Discharge to Assess’).
Adams Ward – a short-stay unit to assess patients and plan discharge packages – has started caring for its first patients this week and all 17 beds are expected to be occupied by mid-December. The services – which will provide patients with tailored care and discharge plans to meet their individual needs – are provided by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, which already provides a wide range of services from the facility.
Locating new services at Finchley Memorial has been a key priority for Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in recent months. The additional capacity provided at Finchley will help the local NHS more widely, particularly this winter when acute hospitals and emergency departments are expected to be extremely busy.
Dr Debbie Frost, Chair, Barnet CCG, said:
"Opening new services at Adams Ward represents an important milestone for the NHS in Barnet. It will improve the experience for patients who are medically stable but require ongoing assessment, providing monitoring and discharge planning in more comfortable surroundings that meet their individual needs."
Barnet CCG has been working closely with the lead tenant – Community Health Partnerships – and the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust to secure the new unit at Adams Ward. This is part of a wider strategy to increase the number of services at Finchley Memorial and announcements about new services are expected in the New Year.
Dr Frost continued:
"The new ward will expand services provided from Finchley Memorial, which has been a key priority for Barnet CCG in recent months. It follows months of hard work delivered by a number of local organisations and led by the new leadership team at Barnet CCG – I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for all their hard work, which has ensured the new ward is open before the busy winter holiday season."
Local patients will be referred to Adams Ward, either from their acute hospital or via their GP. A walk-in centre is also available at Finchley Memorial where urgent health needs can be assessed from 8am to 10pm, seven days per week.
Cathy Walker, Divisional Director of Operations at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust elaborated:
"Adams Ward will provide short term care and support to people who no longer require acute hospital admission but may require further assistance with their activities of daily living prior to transfer to their own home or into the community environment. The ward is also able to support patients in the community who fit the ‘discharge to assess pathway’ and would benefit from a step-up ward rather than an acute hospital admission. Adams Ward is a fantastic environment and CLCH has been working closely with Barnet CCG to make sure that the service is designed with high quality care arrangements in place."
Patients in Barnet can access care services this winter through a range of local healthcare options, including improved access to primary care. Last week, Barnet CCG announced the availability of 38,000 additional evening and weekend GP appointments (6.30pm – 8pm on weekdays, 8am – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays).
To book an evening or weekend GP appointment you should speak to your GP surgery or call the evening and weekend service directly on 020 3948 6809 (phone line operational at evenings and weekends only). For more information on GP online services, visit www.nhs.uk/GPonlineservices.