Medicine for Older People - Inpatients

All acute medical admissions are directly admitted to the Acute Medical Unit at Gate 31, Level 0 in the Brunel building, Southmead Hospital and then moved to an acute medical older persons unit at Gate 28 and Gate 9, Level 5, Brunel building, Southmead Hospital. There are also short stay beds for older people at Gate 32, Level 1, Brunel building.

Medicine for Older People inpatient acute medical ward in the Brunel building consultants are:
Beds 1-32, Gate 28a, Level 5 – Dr Seema Srivastava
Telephone: 0117 4143005 or 0117 4143006

Beds 33-64, Gate 28b, Level 5 – Dr Katie Rainey
Telephone: 0117 4142808 or 0117 4142809

Beds 33-64, Gate 9a, Level 5 – Dr Sue Wensley
Telephone: 0117 4143300 or 0117 4143301

Beds 1-17, Gate 32a, Level 1 – Dr Sarah MsCracken and Dr Jarrod Richards
Telephone: 0117 4146200 or 0117 4146201

Our goal is to provide diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of illness in older people. We work with other members of the health and social care team with an aim for patients to return to a level of optimal health and, whenever possible, to return to independent life at home.

Ward rounds & team meetings
There will be a daily Board Round on each ward attended by senior doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers to plan for the day and ensure very patient receives the input required to progress their treatment, recovery and discharge from hospital. Each ward will have specific times for consultant ward rounds and at least one team meeting each week to discuss and review the progress of each person admitted to the ward and plan for their discharge when medically stable. The ward receptionist and administrator will be able to give information about when the ward rounds and meetings take place.

The teams would like to encourage communication. Permission must always be sought from the patient first if discussing care with relatives and carers.
Whilst the ward doctors are happy to talk to relatives there will be times where this is not possible because of the needs of other patients on the ward. If you are a relative and wish to speak to a member of the team and they are not available then please make an appointment with the consultant, Ward Sister or Matron via the ward receptionist or Nurse in Charge. It would be helpful to nominate one ‘spokesperson’ to make enquiries and to feed back to other relatives, so that we can spend more time with the patients.

Protected Mealtimes
It is important patients are given the time and assistance they require to eat and drink. If you wish to assist your relative to eat and feel that they will benefit from your presence, please discuss with the nurse in charge who will negotiate arrangements subject to individual needs.

Delivery of care to the patients aims to reflect our commitment to respect privacy and dignity at all times. Respectful communication will be through staff identifying themselves to you in person or when answering the phone. All patients will be addressed by their preferred name. To ensure your privacy and dignity are maintained you will be cared for in a single room or single sex bay.

Post-acute care and rehabilitation
Patients who have received their initial acute treatment and are medically stable may be transferred to a post-discharge and rehabilitiation ward at Elgar House on the Southmead Hospital Bristol site. Information regarding this will be available from the Nurse in Charge or medical teams.

The Complex Assessment and Liaison (CALS) service
The CALS service operates in the emergency zone of the hospital. It consists of consultant geriatricians (Dr Neubauer, Dr McCracken, Dr Richards and Dr Srivastava), Advanced Nurse Practitioners, OTs, Physiotherapists, social workers and case managers. The team has developed strong links with the community to promote seamless care for the patient between primary and secondary services.
These patients will have a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) which will address not only their initial medical presentation, but their co-morbidities, rehabilitation, psychological and social needs. The team aims to improve the identification of patients with frailty syndromes such as delirium, dementia, falls and incontinence and enable these problems to be addressed, improve sign posting to appropriate services, improve patient quality of life and ensure more patient centred and timely discharge planning.
The CALS team also cover some ward beds on level 1 of the Brunel building for specific patients identified by the team as being able to be rapidly discharged with intensive input. They also provide advice to GPs via a “Geriatrician of the day” hotline.

Patients admitted with fractures
Medicine Older People is very active in the care of older patients admitted with fractures, particularly hip fractures. Dr Harding`s clinical work is now focussed on the trauma wards on Level 2 and Level 5 and all hip fracture patients are now admitted under shared care with the Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr Harding, Dr Walsh and Dr Srivastava now provide a daily consultant ward round (Mon to Fri) to assess and manage the medical needs of these patients, lead their multidisciplinary rehabilitation and contribute to planning discharges.

All patients admitted to the hospital will be assessed for risk of falling in hospital. Some patients may require additional observation to maintain their safety.
For further information, download patient information leaflet:

Medicine for Older People - Inpatients