New community-facing service opens to patients 

Teaser-image-CAU-(4).pngA new service for patients, known as the Community Assessment Unit (CAU) has opened within the Acute Services Building (ASB).

The CAU supports the management of patients in the community with chronic and complex health conditions, and provides an alternate pathway for community health services to access specialist assessment and short-term inpatient beds, helping to reduce pressure on the Emergency Department (ED) and reduce unnecessary wait times.

It is a community-facing 24 to 48-hour short stay inpatient unit, comprised of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) including nursing, allied health, pharmacy and medical staff. The service is unique to South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), with no other Local Health District in NSW providing a community-facing assessment unit like this.

CAU Nurse Unit Manager, Brenton Ciani, is excited to be leading the new unit and explains how the service is going to improve patient care at Prince of Wales Hospital. “The CAU has been purposefully designed to reduce the inpatient length of stay through rapid access to diagnostics and comprehensive care pathways in collaboration with a CAU-specific MDT,” explained Brenton.

“What I think is most fantastic about the CAU, is that it is strategically designed to improve access to healthcare and provide another door for the community to receive care that’s specific to their needs. Having worked in ED, I can see the benefit the CAU will have for our ED staff and patients by taking some of the pressure off. It’s a whole new way to think about patient flow, and how we can improve our community’s healthcare experience," said Brenton.   

Brenton will be joined by two Clinical Nurse Consultants and one Clinical Nurse Educator, to provide support and expertise to the CAU’s MDT. The CAU is located on level 3 South of the ASB, next to the Community Management Centre.

The CAU is a 24/7 inpatient unit with services such as cardiac monitored beds, a small inpatient gymnasium and consult rooms. Once treated, patients will be discharged home, to another inpatient unit within SESLHD or to PoWH Community Health Services.