Mount Gould Hospital: Completion of a New Discharge Assessment Unit

19 July 2023

Co Create Architects is proud to have been part of the refurbishment design of the new Patient Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital.

The following article was authored by the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and the original article can be viewed here.

Two new wards were officially opened on Friday 16 June as part of the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital, being run jointly by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) and Livewell Southwest. 

Mount Gould ward refurbishment cocreate architects 1
Image Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. Opening ceremony at Mount Gould Hospital DAU.

The new wards, Saltram and Lopes, now provide holistic and comprehensive discharge assessments and reablement for those with complex needs. This allows medically fit patients to be discharged from Derriford Hospital to a facility that is equipped to support their recovery and ultimately their return home; all with the aim to support people to live independently for longer. 

The opening of the unit has been made possible thanks to £5million funding received from NHS England, as well as collaborative working between UHP, Livewell Southwest, NHS Devon Integrated Care Board, Plymouth City Council and a number of community partners, including Age UK and Herts Urgent Care (HUC - formally Devon Doctors). 

“We are delighted to have opened the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould,” explains Jo Beer, Chief Operating Officer at UHP. “This now means we can give every patient the opportunity to return to independence following a period of acute ill health and hospitalisation, as well as promote home as the preferred discharge destination. 

“This new unit also releases bed capacity at UHP to provide space for care and treatment for patients waiting for elective and urgent care. It’s a new way of working for UHP and an opportunity to strengthen working relationships with our Livewell and Plymouth City Council colleagues for the benefit of patient care. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the teams who have worked very hard to get this project completed.” 

The unit, which has capacity for 40 beds, is made up of a team of both UHP and Livewell staff nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and therapeutic support workers. They monitor and support patient health and wellbeing, carry out assessments to help with recovery and plan for discharge. GP support is also provided. 

“Although we’ve only been open a matter of weeks, we’ve received some wonderful feedback from patients so far,” explains Samantha O’Driscoll, Ward Manager for the unit. “Our patients really feel that they regain their independence here and can relax in a non-acute setting whilst still keeping reablement as their focus, with the goal of returning home with confidence and the right support. One patient in particular said that the unit is ‘wonderful’ and a ‘joy to be at, because the care for everyone is excellent’. 

“Through helping patients to increase their confidence in the activities of daily living, the Discharge Assessment Unit also offers staff a real opportunity to get to know their patients and increase their knowledge around reablement. I have had some outstanding feedback from our staff, in that they feel supported in their role and truly enjoy the environment in which they all work. We have some wonderful learning opportunities here and staff feel excited about the future of the unit.” 

Mount Gould ward refurbishment cocreate architects NHS staff
Image Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust. Opening ceremony at Mount Gould DAU_ NHS staff team

Michelle Thomas, Chief Executive of Livewell Southwest, said: “These new wards symbolise an important commitment to supporting patient reablement and will complement our existing out-of-hospital pathways in the city. As partnered organisations, we share the goal of supporting our service users to maintain healthy, independent lives and we are pleased to be making a positive contribution at the Discharge Assessment Unit.” 

Rachel O’Connor, Director of Integrated Care and Partnerships at UHP, adds: “We are hugely appreciative of the additional capital that has been made available to help provide important additional reablement care, to support people to return home and continue to live independently for longer. The additional beds as part of a wider community model of care will also relieve pressure on our acute hospital beds for those who need medical intervention. 

“We recognise that most people will recover better at home once they are safe to be there, and we are working with our other health and social care partners in the system to ensure that people get home promptly. The development at Mount Gould is one part of a model of intermediate care that through our partnership with Livewell we are looking to implement to better prepare people for early and supported discharge and help maintain their ability to return home to live as independently as possible. It has been wonderful to see the joint working between our teams and receive such positive feedback from patients so far. We remain excited about the opportunities for further development and improvement together.” 

Through bringing all community teams together for the purpose of discharge from hospital, it is hoped to encourage a culture of empowering patients to continue their ongoing care at home, where possible. 

Below: the wards during the rennovation works (left) and after the completion (right) 

This image is to show the renovation works of the hallway in the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital.
Image Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.
This image is to show the completed look of the hallway in the new Discharge Assessment Unit at Mount Gould Hospital.
Image Credit: Co Create Architects.
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