MAPU Associate Charge Nurse Manager Jodie Winwood, MAPU and ED Charge Nurse Manager Sharon Scott, Team Leader Pharmacy Sonja van Alphen and Allied Heath Lead Deidre Crichton. Photo: Kate Russell.

More beds for Nelson Hospital


A brand-new unit at Nelson Hospital is set to ease the pressure on bed space before the busy winter season hits.

The 10-bed Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU) opens on 1 July.

It will receive patients needing medical care, allowing people with multiple medical conditions to be assessed by doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers so that a comprehensive care plan can be put in place.

This will improve the patient experience, ensure that investigations and treatments are quicker, and decrease wait time.

Nelson Hospital emergency department charge nurse manager Sharon Scott will manage the unit and says it will be a huge help until the hospital’s long-awaited redevelopment takes shape.

“We don’t have many medical beds compared to the size of our population. It will improve the flow of the hospital and reduce the waiting time for patients in ED,” she says.

Sharon was one of the team who set up and tested a trial unit between August and October 2018.

She says the results of the trial were impressive and is delighted that the unit is being made permanent under Nelson Marlborough Health’s Models of Care programme.

“We surveyed patients and 51 out of 53 rated their care as either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good.’”

People will be referred to the hospital by their GP and will be fast-tracked through ED into the new unit. Other patients will be admitted to the unit from ED.

Sharon says fewer medical patients will have to be admitted to the surgical ward, because the medical ward is full.

And, as well as creating more beds, the unit will be creating 14 new jobs in the region.

Sharon says they will aim to have patients discharged within 36 hours.

“It’s not like a normal ward, its very patient-centred.”