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​Ilchester Integrated Assessment Unit

Ilchester Integrated Assessment Unit is a 25 bedded Admissions and Assessment Unit for acute medical admissions. Referrals are taken 24 hours a day from GP, Emergency Department or inter-department referrals within the Trust. In addition there is an Ambulatory Care area of 6 trolley/chair spaces and you may be admitted to IIAU and or discharged from here.

We have 4 single sexed bays and 5 side rooms.

The Unit team comprises 1 Unit Matron, 1 Ward Sister, 3 Deputy Sisters/Charge Nurses, 2 Consultants. Other professionals that support IIAU include: additional Speciality Consultants, Trainee Doctors, Registered Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Housekeeping staff, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers.  The Unit is supported by a team of 2 Ward Clerks who provide cover 07:30-19:00 hours, Monday to Friday.

The Admissions Co-ordinator (a Registered Nurse) communicates with the Senior Management Team to facilitate the smooth patient flow through the unit, this includes both admissions and discharges.

The Consultant team will determine the most effective ward or department transfer based on patient clinical need and specialist healthcare requirements.

Consultants' ward rounds take place throughout the morning, so we suggest relatives reserve any calls to late morning when more up-to-date information may be available on the patient's care.

Relatives are advised to nominate one member of the patient's family to make regular telephone contact with IIAU. Please note that due to the need to protect our patients' confidentiality, only limited information will be passed over the telephone.

Patients and relatives are advised to avoid bringing in large qualities of clothing and valuables as the patient's stay on IIAU can be as little as 4-6 hours prior to discharge or transfer to another ward, and storage space is limited. Family members will be asked to take property home.

Patients are advised to avoid bringing children under the age of 12 into the IIAU, although this can be discussed with the nursing team caring for the patient.

Visiting hours
The Unit operates open visiting hours and is limited to two visitors per bed. However we ask that patients, visitors and relatives respect the privacy of others on the Unit and we reserve the right to limit visiting at any time in accordance with the needs of the patients. Please be aware that other wards in the hospital may have set or different visiting hours.

Contact numbers
Nurses Station: 01305 255523 / 01305 255993
Direct line to ward clerk desk: 01305 255870 / 254800
Dorset County Hospital Switchboard: 01305 251150

Ilchester Integrated Assessment Unit, Dorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2JY

Ward location
2nd Floor, South Wing

The hospital site has public and disabled parking bays. If you/your visitors are concerned about parking, please discuss this with the ward co-ordinator.

What to Expect
Patients can arrive on the Unit or be transferred or discharged from the Unit at any time during the day or night.  As IIAU is an admissions and assessment unit, patients can stay on the Unit for as little as 4-6 hours before discharge or transfer and will generally not stay longer than 24 hours.  Many of our systems are accessed by the Doctors and Nurses via hand-held computer devices which look like mobile phones. Please be assured that staff use these devices to assist with your care.

Meal times
The following times are approximate:
Breakfast:       08:15
Lunch:            12:00
Dinner:           17:30/45
We encourage and offer hand washing prior to meals in addition to the use of the toilet, as the use of toilets and commodes during meals is discouraged to assist in the prevention of infection.

Hot drinks are given with meals as above. Please speak to a member of staff during your stay if you require drinks at other times.

Washing facilities
The ward has 4 single washrooms (shower/toilet). If you require help with washing or going to the toilet, please contact a member of staff.

If you require assistance please contact a member of staff or ring the bell attached to the bed.

Noise Levels
IIAU is a busy unit that operates 24 hours a day so unfortunately it can be noisy at times, even at night. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff if you have a concern regarding noise levels.

Friends of DCH trolley
Friends of DCH trolley (for newspapers, sweets, etc) services IIAU twice a day.

Your discharge from the Unit will be planned from your arrival. Please note that you may have arrived by Ambulance – this does not mean you will travel home by Ambulance. You will be expected to make your own arrangements for your discharge such as family or friends to collect you or for you to arrange and pay for a taxi or bus home. After the Medical team have confirmed your discharge, you will be required to vacate your bed or trolley and transfer to the Discharge Lounge to await collection of any medication prescribed for you. Your family/ transport can also pick you up from here – there are no parking fees as parking is outside of the Discharge Lounge in the South Wing, by the Pencils sculpture, in the collection/drop off zone. The Discharge Lounge is open from 10.00 – 18.30 hours and meals can be taken here too.

We strive to ensure that your stay on Ilchester is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Please speak to a member of staff during your stay if you have any concerns.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS): If you have any comments, complaints or concerns, please contact PALS at Dorset County Hospital on Freephone 0800 7838058 or email​