A Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) service operates from Frailty Unit, alongside an acute inpatient service for frail older people.
The integrated medical, nursing and therapy team on the Ward work across both areas of the ward. The SDEC service works closely with the ambulance service and the Emergency Department to identify patients who need a comprehensive old age specialist assessment and treatment intervention. This intervention is hoped to avoid a hospital admission, returning patient back to the previous home environment quickly with any additional support and follow-up care they require.
If older people living with frailty are assessed with the ambulance service and frailty specialist nursing service to require a short inpatient stay, to receive investigations and treatment, they can be admitted to the inpatient side of the ward. Here alongside these interventions, a rapid discharge plan is co-ordinated to reduce any un-necessarily long stay in hospital. A stay in these beds is usually one or two days.
Frailty Unit is also a Training Centre for Health Care Support Workers. We bring into the organisation people who are new to care roles and provide practical training for them in a structured and co-ordinated way. These ‘new-to-care’ recruits are supervised by the core ward team and undertake a six-week ‘Introduction to Care’ course. This leads to a National Care Certificate on completion and opportunities to work elsewhere within our Trust or across the NHS system.
Ward contact details
Directions to Frailty Unit
Frailty Unit is located on the first floor of the new Tremenel Unit, between Tower Block and the Princess Alexandra Wing. (Note: access is via the Ground Floor.)
Frailty Unit is accessed via the ground floor of Tower Block, close to the Eye Unit. When you enter the Tower Block, follow signs to the Eye Unit and then for Frailty Unit. Walk through the short link corridor into the Tremenel Unit and then up the stairs or take the lift to the first floor.
Visiting Frailty Unit
Visiting times are by prior arrangement, in accordance with the Trust’s updated Covid Visitors’ policy.
You will need to provide evidence of a negative PCR or lateral flow test every time you visit the ward.
Visiting outside these times can be discussed with the nurse or midwife in charge. See our Visiting Policy.
Changing levels of cases of COVID-19 in Cornwall means that we must review and restrict visiting at times. We know how hard this is for patients and relatives, and exceptional circumstances for visiting will be considered when necessary.
Visiting arrangements from 24 August 2022
All patients will be allowed a maximum of 2 visitors, reduced to 1 visitor or carer in admitting areas. Visits will be for a maximum of an hour per day. The two visitors can be different people each day but they will need to come together. All visits should be arranged in advance.
Visitors must not visit if they have:
- any of the symptoms associated with possible COVID-19
- feel unwell
All visitors must:
- use the hand hygiene facilities before and after visiting
- wear appropriate PPE. For example, wear a surgical facemask in areas where staff are required to wear a mask
Before visiting, visitors should use the public toilet facilities within the hospital as these will not be available on the ward.
Arrangements are specific to different areas but follow the same basic principles. Visiting outside the specified hours should be made with the ward manager. For example, to allow a relative to be present to break bad news or provide support if the patient has complex needs.
It may be necessary to amend visiting arrangements on any ward at short notice if there are cases of covid or any other infection outbreak. We will advise you when you call to arrange your visit.
Top tips when visiting
- visitors need to introduce themselves and advise who they are visiting.
- they will also be required to wash their hands and may need to wear appropriate PPE during the visit.
- feel free to help out at mealtimes
- do not disturb clinical staff during medicine rounds
- when asked to leave a bay or room, please respect our request
- when you leave the ward following your visit, you will need to remove any PPE, dispose of it properly, and wash your hands
Please see the Visiting guidance page for further general information.
What patients can expect from us
Our pledge is to let our patients know what they are in hospital for, what is needed before we can send them home, a timeframe for their discharge and an opportunity for them to be involved in shared decision-making about their treatment and care.
Contacting the ward for updates on your loved one
The ward is a busy place and our priority is patient care; the best time to call is after 11 am, once the doctors have completed their rounds. Upon admission to our ward we will establish if our patients are able to make contact with loved ones.
We suggest that one person is nominated to call the ward for updates and to act as the patient’s single point of contact. Our patients with capacity and the ability to contact loved ones themselves, are best placed to provide an update. Those who would prefer relatives to be updated by staff will have this documented and we will endeavour to contact daily to provide an update.
The Trust’s car parks are run by external providers. Free parking is available for blue badge holders, frequent attenders and parents of sick children staying overnight. Please ask the car park attendants for further details. Concessionary tickets care available for long term patients and visitors. You will need to ask the ward for an application form for a concessionary ticket.
Our patients may not always be able to be treated within the specialist ward associated with their medical or surgical issue. This means that they may be transferred to different wards during a single inpatient stay, and we will always endeavour to update the patient’s nominated contact of this.
Using ward iPads
On most wards iPads are available for patients to contact family and friends via FaceTime and Skype. Ward staff can arrange this for you and they will assist in setting up this call.
Stay Connected is an initiative put in place to help our inpatients and their families keep in contact with each other, by sending messages, photos or drawings to the Patient and Family Experience Team which is then sent to the ward; this service is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.
- Telephone: 01872 253793
Most wards have access to Wi-Fi on NHSWi-Fi. Please contact the ward to confirm.
Laptops and mobiles are allowed (if users are respectful of other patients – it’s a good idea to bring headphones and label devices clearly). We ask that you ensure any chargers that you may bring for devices are in a good working condition, so as not to cause a fire.
When our patients are assessed as medically fit for discharge by a Consultant, we will update the nominated contact or we will ask the patient to do this if they are able. We may ask our patients to wait in the discharge lounge whilst final arrangements are made.
The Discharge Lounge is in the Tower Block on the ground floor. Please see the Discharge Lounge page for directions and further information.
Patients are discharged with a discharge summary and a copy will also be sent electronically to their GP to outline any ongoing care needs or medication.
Please be aware that there may be a few hours wait for your medication to take home.
A Carer is anyone, including children and adults, who looks after and cares for a friend or family member who (due to illness, frailty, disability, a mental health condition, or an addiction) cannot manage without their support. The care they give is unpaid. The Trust recognises carers as expert partners in care, and the important role that carers have in continuing patient care. If you are a carer you may wish to request a Carer Passport. This will identify you as a carer to us, and we can signpost you to the Cornwall Carers Service for advice and assessments.
We are passionate about patient experience and we want every one of our patients, and their relatives, to receive the best possible service when being treated at, or visiting, our hospitals. We take all feedback seriously and will take action where appropriate. Please see the Patient Experience section for further details.
Page last reviewed: 15 May 2023