Since the unit opened just over a year ago, 2,000 patients have been  treated at our older person’s assessment unit (OPAU) at Chase Farm Hospital.

The OPAU, which treats patients aged 65 and over from Enfield and north east Hertfordshire, celebrated its first anniversary with a party for staff and patients.Staff celebrate the first birthday of the OPAU

It is a relatively new out-patient service which not all hospitals offer. Staff at the unit can offer patients a range of treatments and diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, x-rays and ECGs.

Patients are often referred to the unit by GPs and in its first year the OPAU has treated almost 2,000 patients. The unit,staffed by nurses and consultants, helps to ease pressure on busy emergency departments and GP surgeries.

Tracy Goodman, matron for the OPAU, said she was delighted with how the service has worked in its first year. “So many of the patients have been very positive about the care they’ve been given here. We are pleased that we’ve been able to treat so many patients so they haven’t needed to be admitted to hospital.”

Matilda Bruce-Acolatse, senior sister and manager of the OPAU, added: “Our goal, wherever possible, is to avoid admission of such cases to hospital and manage them effectively in the out-patient setting, which in turn, not only improves their physical and mental health but also helps them maintain their independence in the community. The OPAU service is provided through a dedicated team of specialists in elderly care, nursing staff, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers.

Patients who have visited the unit left a number of positive comments, which have been posted on  a wall of the OPAU.

Among the comments were: “best service I have ever received in a hospital” and “care was wonderful throughout”.

The unit is currently open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm and patients can make their own way there, or be picked up the unit’s ambulance