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Survey shows positive experience of Acute Surgical Assessment Units

The first survey of accredited Acute Surgical Assessment Unit (ASAU) patients shows that their experience was “overwhelmingly positive”, with satisfactory wait times and clear communication of their care plan.

The headline figures found that 95 per cent of patients were happy with their visit to an ASAU, 92 per cent of patients once seen were satisfied with the waiting time and 98 per cent agreed that the quality of their care was satisfactory.

According to the National Clinical Programme in Surgery (NCPS) Co-Lead Professor Deborah McNamara, “the accredited acute surgical assessment units are reshaping the way that we deliver unscheduled surgical care to acutely unwell surgical patients.

“This gives patients faster access to expert surgical advice when they have a surgical emergency. The results of the national patient experience survey shows that patients across the country highly value the care they receive in these units which is a great compliment to our front-line staff.”

An accredited ASAU is a dedicated area where acutely ill surgical patients, who fulfill the criteria at triage, can be seen and assessed by a senior surgical decision maker.

The number of ASAUs has increased over the last five years and there are now six Accredited Acute Surgical Assessment Units in the public health system; University Hospital Galway, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St Luke’s General Hospital, University Hospital Limerick, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, and Cork University Hospital.

“Today’s report shows that patients treated in ASAUs are very happy with the care they receive. We hope that in the future more hospitals across the country will be able to provide this standard of care to their patients”, added Prof McNamara.

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