We diagnose and treat conditions that are common in frail, older people such as stroke, dementia, falls, complex Parkinson’s disease, bladder problems and osteoporosis. Our highly skilled team of nurses, therapists, social workers and doctors focus on need rather than age and have the expertise to improve patient’s physical and mental health, independence and quality of life.
We provide both inpatient and outpatient services. Our team supports other specialists looking after older people at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. We can assess older patients for potential problems related to frailty and we can also help and advise those looking after them.
For example, we provide a dedicated older person doctor to help with general surgical or acute medical patients and we can review trauma and orthopaedic patients when needed.
There are four dedicated care of the older person wards at Musgrove Park Hospital: Triscombe, Wordsworth, Eliot and Mendip.
Inpatients (patients who need to stay in hospital during treatment)
Most of our patients come into Musgrove Park Hospital as emergency admissions and will be moved onto one of our care of older people wards (Triscombe, Wordsworth, Eliot or Mendip). This can happen quite quickly and therefore sometimes it may not be immediately clear which ward they are on. If your relative has come in via the medical assessment unit (MAU), please check with the receptionist where they have been transferred to. In most cases, you may have been telephoned. However, it is sometimes necessary to move patients overnight and therefore we may not have contacted you.
If you need to know how your relative’s treatment is progressing, please contact the ward they are on. If you would like to make an appointment to see your relative’s consultant or team of doctors, please contact the named consultant’s secretary.
We recognise that communication is essential for the good care of our patients because some may have difficulty speaking for themselves. In our outpatient clinics, all patients are routinely sent a copy of the clinic letter between the hospital doctor and GP, unless they indicate they would rather not receive this.
Ward doctors and nurses should be able to answer queries, especially during the working day when the regular team is on the ward. If you are worried about a relative or friend who is unable to speak for him/herself, please talk to the ward staff. If they are unable to answer your query, ask to talk with the ward sister or consultant and they will do their best to meet you.
Normal ward visiting times are 10am-9pm, seven days a week.
Outpatients (patients who don’t need to stay in hospital during treatment)
GPs can refer patients to their local community rehabilitation team or directly to a geriatrician for outpatient services. Inpatients can be assessed on the ward and then referred to a community rehabilitation team or geriatrician for outpatient services, once they have been discharged from hospital.
Falls are common in older people. If you have fallen and injured yourself, we will give you a full assessment to find out if you are at risk of more falls and the reasons for this. We will also consider whether you would benefit from treatment to strengthen your bones and balance and strength exercises to reduce the risk of future falls.