Patients & Visitors

Older Persons Assessment Unit (OPAU)


About the Ward

OPAU represents a new model of care for older people.  Its primary aim is to facilitate rapid clinical assessment, investigation and interventions to support early discharge, reducing patients' time spent in hospital. 

Ideally, patients would expect a short stay in hospital (24-72 hours), and would also benefit from physiotherapy, occupational therapy or social services input during that time, either to speed up their discharge from hospital, or to put strategies into place to try and avoid unnecessary admissions in the future.

The ward aims to use the "discharge to assess" model, whereby a patient is discharged as soon as they are medically fit, and their support needs are assessed on arrival at home by members of the community intermediate care and social care teams.  This enables them to access the right level of home care and support in real-time. There is also increased use of third sector support, such as Age UK, in order to facilitate discharge.

The OPAU unit has a daily consultant or senior staff grade ward round, and a daily multidisciplinary meeting to discuss all patients on the ward and highlight what is necessary in order to facilitate a speedy discharge.

If the patient's stay is likely to be longer than 72 hours, for medical or other reasons, then their care is transferred to one of the general OPU wards as quickly as possible in order to maintain patient flow.  The ward also runs a virtual clinic for any outstanding investigations, thereby also improving patient flow, and reducing unnecessary stays whilst waiting for results.

OPAU is located in RUH Zone D on the ground floor.  It is also called ward D1.

Visiting is from 1pm-7pm.

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The Ward Team

There are 4 consultants who provide input to the OPAU unit:

Dr Sara Evans
Secretary: 01225 821028

Dr Alastair Kerr
Secretary: 01225 821267

Dr Genevieve Robson
Secretary: 01225 821008

Dr Tomas Welsh
Secretary:01225 821008

The medical team includes a team of doctors and specialist nurses (Medical Nurse Practitioners). The Senior Sister, is in charge of the overall running of the ward and nursing care. She has a dedicated team of junior sisters, nurses, healthcare assistants, domestic staff and ward clerks. A dedicated discharge coordinator assists the discharge process.

A team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, mental health liaison officers and social workers also have input into patient care.

General Enquiries / Reception Desk:

  • Ward clerk:  01225 826958 or 01225 826218

Further information

OPAU - Patient Information Leaflet

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