The clinical decisions unit (CDU) is a short-stay observation ward located in the emergency department at East Surrey Hospital. It consists of male and female bays, each containing four beds, as well as two side rooms. The CDU is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The purpose of the CDU is to provide better continuity of care for a selected group of adult patients attending the emergency department, who do not require further inpatient hospital admission.

The unit is staffed by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) consisting of an emergency consultant, an emergency junior doctor, a nursing assistant, an emergency nurse, physiotherapists, occupation therapists and psychiatry liaison cover.  The aim is to provide short term, evidence-based, high-quality, intensive observation and treatment. The unit also has good links to speech and language therapy, pharmacy and social care services.

CDU therapy team

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are science-based professions that take a ‘whole person’ approach to health and wellbeing. They consider all of a patient’s needs: physical, psychological, social and environmental to facilitate recovery after an accident or illness. The teams work with patients to restore their movement and function, enabling them to remain as independent as possible in carrying out their essential everyday tasks (such as mobility, personal care and meal preparation) or occupations.

Both professions are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council.

The physiotherapists and occupational therapists in our CDU liaise closely with patients, relatives and carers and work jointly together to enhance patient centred and holistic care. They aim to facilitate safe and timely discharges home. The therapists work closely with the MDT and community services to ensure that patients receive the correct support in the community on discharge to maximise their potential. They also provide equipment or aids for patients who require them to ensure their safety at home.

Our physiotherapists and occupational therapists can also provide advice and onward referral to services for:

  • Telecare
  • Falls Prevention
  • Carer support
  • Red Cross
  • Age UK
  • Drug and Alcohol support

The Therapy service in CDU is available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The liaison psychiatry team is a nurse-led service which provides holistic psychosocial assessment to individuals who may be experiencing distress whilst in hospital or who maybe a risk to themselves or others. Individuals can be assessed by a qualified liaison psychiatric practitioner 24 hours a day.

The team work very closely with community-based mental health and substance misuse services, the police, and other local statutory and voluntary agencies to provide appropriate support and signposting to mental health services.