The Royal United Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Bath, (RUH) is a busy district general hospital, providing secondary healthcare for 500000 people across the South-West of England. The surgical take is busy and varied. Two consultant-led, post-take ward rounds take place each day in the surgical assessment unit (SAU), a 19-bed admissions unit that takes direct admissions from general practitioners and the emergency department. The bays are overseen by a ward manager (senior nurse), and three to five staff nurses with an equal number of healthcare assistants.
The daily ward rounds include the team of junior doctors on the take that day, as well as a senior SAU nurse. Because of the fast-paced nature of the ward information may not be documented or communicated effectively, and this can impact on patient safety. There is also a degree of variability in the way the ward round is conducted, depending on the lead consultant for that round.
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