A new Ambulatory Assessment & Treatment Unit (AATU) has been officially opened at Noble’s Hospital in Douglas.

Opened on Wednesday (April 17) by Manx Care chief executive Teresa Cope, AATU will enable patients to remain independent where hospital admission is not required.

It will also provide support for the earlier discharge of suitable inpatients who could be discharged home sooner, returning for follow-up care within AATU if needed.

Conditions that will be treated in the AATU includes anaemia, cellulitis, deep vein thrombosis, low-risk chest pain, new onset headaches and pulmonary embolisms.

Referrals can be made by GPs or the Manx Emergency Doctors Service (MEDS), the Emergency Department, the Ambulance Service and colleagues across inpatient wards or outpatient clinics.

Talking about the referral process, a spokesperson from Manx Care said: ‘Once a referral has been made, the AATU team will contact the patient to provide them with an appointment, allocated based on the patient’s clinical need.

‘Once seen and assessed in AATU, the patient will then be sent home with an appropriate treatment plan and any follow-up if required.

‘After discharge, the AATU team may ask individuals to return another day for continued treatment or review.’

The AATU is temporarily located within Ward 19 in the west wing of the ground floor at Noble’s Hospital, ‘until a suitable permanent location is identified’.

The Unit’s initial opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm and Saturday to Sunday from 10am until 2pm.

Gavin Turnbull, clinical practitioner and service lead at Manx Care, said: ‘We’re pleased to be moving forward in this initiative to reduce unnecessary admissions and ensure that patients are treated in the right place at the right time, making sure an appropriate service is available for their clinical need.’

Jo Standish, associate director of nursing for medicine for the Ambulance Service, said: ‘It was fantastic to mark the occasion with an official opening by Teresa Cope. This is an exciting development and patients should start to see the benefits straight away.’