29 April 2024

Infusion Team – improving patient care and flow

The Infusion Unit based at Eastbourne DGH will soon be operating a seven-day service to help ease the pressure on Same Day Emergency Care as well as opening up more available appointments supporting our chronically unwell patients lifestyles, whilst providing an enhanced patient experience and satisfaction.

Infusion Team - improving patient care and flow

The unit is nurse-led and offers biological therapies along with many different medical and surgical referral pathways. Infusions regularly undertaken include blood transfusion, IV iron infusions and IV magnesium. The infusion unit facilitates pro-active treatments that keep people well and help prevent unplanned admissions, relieving pressure on other services in the trust and ensuring patients get the right treatment in the right place.

The team prides themselves on being able to provide patients with a comfortable, safe and effective environment to carry out their individual treatment plans.

We spoke to Kelly Mintrim, Service Manager for the Infusion Unit about the service expansion.

“Since Covid we have become a single site service enabling us to optimise our capacity and expand our service. We have successfully achieved this by investing in and expanding our workforce offering professional development opportunities within the nurse led unit as well as extending our opening hours and number of treatments we can offer on a daily basis.

“We are open 8am to 6pm, including bank holidays, six days a week: seven days from June. This enables us to see a lot of patients and help relieve pressure on other services. We are now able to offer and provide around 16,000 treatments a year.

“Patients visit us regularly, this can be two or three times a week, or monthly, depending on their treatment plans so they become part of the service. This means the delivery of the service is fully modelled around the needs of our patients and providing them with the best patient experience.

“The patients who are using the unit are chronically unwell, usually with autoimmune disorders but don’t require hospital admission.

“With the service expansion we are able to provide new pathways including treatment for migraines and a new IDA pathway working with our primary care colleagues to give patient access to iron treatment while awaiting a consultant review.

“The unit is hopefully helping patients move away from emergency care whilst still providing an appropriate clinical environment to support patient flow. Patients are living with chronic illnesses and with the services the unit provides, we are able to treat them more efficiently and hopefully provide them with a better quality of life.

“It is great that the unit is being recognised by senior staff and that Joe (Chadwick-Bell) came to visit and see what we are doing here. We have been able to show case how we are working cohesively with other teams to constantly improve the service and look to the future.

“We are also working with the Building for the Future team and with the research team.”