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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Elderly Services (DME)

What we do

Our Department of Medicine for the Elderly (DME) includes elderly rehabilitation services, acute stroke and stroke rehabilitation, as well as a regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit.

Over the past few years we have appointed new consultants in stroke medicine, orthogeriatrics, community geriatrics and movement disorders.

Who we are

Our Older People’s Service Team includes 13 geriatricians, including 12 full-time Consultants. The Consultants we have within the team have a specific interest in various specialties. These include:

  • four in stroke medicine,
  • one in cardiovascular and heart failure,
  • one in gastroenterology,
  • two in orthogeriatrics
  • two in the community
  • two with an interest in general DME care, one of whom is responsible for the Infection Control Isolation Unit.
  • We also have part-time Consultant specialising in movement disorders, in particular Parkinson’s disease.

We have four acute wards and two rehabilitation wards, each under the care of two Consultants, supported by junior medical staff.

About our care

We care for our patients seven days a week, with patients seen by a senior doctor early in their hospital attendance, which helps to prevent unnecessary admissions.

Our patients are admitted to the right ward, and discharged as soon as possible once they are medically fit.

The consultants in the Older Peoples’ Service work together with our colleagues in the Acute Care Division to ensure that rapid assessment of older people takes place and discharge into the community (with appropriate follow up) is arranged.

For older people who require admission to hospital, our Older People’s Short Stay Unit (OPSSU) has been developed, which is situated on Ward 22 on the second floor of Arrowe Park Hospital. 

Consultant Ward Rounds

Consultant ward rounds on OPSSU are provided over 7 days, including weekends and bank holidays. The unit has capacity for up to 12 older people who are expected to remain in hospital for between two and five days, and is designed to ensure a comprehensive multidisciplinary team (MDT) assessment can be provided. 

The Older Person’s Rapid Access Clinic

The Older Person’s Rapid Access Clinic (OPRA) provides GPs with access to Consultant-led clinics staffed by the multidisciplinary team, available Monday to Friday.

The purpose of the unit is to provide comprehensive assessment for older people in order to prevent unnecessary hospital admission. 

DME at Arrowe Park Hospital

Arrowe Park Hospital has acute Medicine for the Elderly beds on four wards and, in addition, a 26 bed Acute Stroke Unit. There are two general rehabilitation wards for older people consisting of a total of 40 to 43 beds, and an active Orthogeriatric Liaison Service. The department also hosts an eight bed isolation ward for patients with clostridium difficile (C.diff) infection and takes responsibility alongside general medicine for our winter contingency ward.

The Consultants in the department see approximately 1800 new outpatient attendances and related follow-ups per year.

DME at Clatterbridge Hospital

In December 2012, following a £2 million investment into rehabilitation, a purpose built 30 bed Rehabilitation Centre was developed, which comprises of 20 stroke rehabilitation beds and 10 beds for neurological rehabilitation.