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Staff within the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) at Glasgow Royal Infirmary have been celebrating its 10th year of operation.

The unit opened in March 2011, following the transfer of acute services for the north east of the city to the site.

Since then the facility has treated around 150,000 patients. On an average day, as many as 100 patients may be referred to the unit by their GP, allowing them to be quickly seen by a multi-disciplinary team of acute physicians, nursing and clinical support staff and advanced practitioners. The AAU is a dedicated facility which provides acute clinical care of patients who require urgent attention in a setting better adapted to a longer patient stay than the Emergency Department.

Led by Lead Senior Charge Nurse, Pamela Cheung and Senior Charge Nurse, Aileen Buchanan, who have been at the forefront of development of the unit over recent years, staff celebrated the anniversary with a socially distanced celebration and even a few slices of birthday cake.

It is also a year since the team had to adapt to face the challenges of coronavirus, converting the unit into a SATA facility to support patients with COVID-19.

Interim Lead Nurse, Ashleigh Irons, said: “The last year has been unlike anything we have faced before and it showed us once again how the NHS and our teams can adapt and change to face any health challenge.

“That has been the same throughout our first ten years. Our teams work together to provide the very best in patient care and I’m incredibly proud of everything that we’ve been able to achieve.”

Over the last decade, the unit has expanded to incorporate an ambulatory care area and worked closely with patients to deliver further improvements to patient care.

Isobel Neil, Director for the North Sector at NHSGGC, said: “I want to thank all staff, past and present who have contributed to AAU/SATA over the past 10 years, and helped the progression of the unit at different stages of its journey.

“I’m also pleased that the team have been able to take some time to recognise and celebrate their achievements after what has been an incredibly challenging 12 months. Their contribution to tackling COVID-19 cannot be underestimated and I am incredibly grateful for their care, compassion and commitment.”

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