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Acute medical unit and ambulatory emergency care

Our acute medical unit (AMU) is a 54 bedded unit with its own discharge lounge, linked with the fastest-growing project at University Hospital Southampton: the ambulatory emergency care unit. Our staff work across both areas to admit patients from the emergency department, GP practices and other local clinics.

We have a number of different areas within our AMU, from a seven bedded high observation area caring for the most unwell patients, to dedicated male and female areas each with five private side rooms. Ambulatory emergency care is a nurse-led clinic supported by our medical team and is a combined area caring for deep vein thrombosis and cellulitis patients, as well as patients referred from other clinics.

Our staff are offered opportunities to develop both clinically and professionally within a supportive environment, providing the chance to develop skills in specific areas such as acute care skills, physical examination and history taking, mentorship, venesection, cannulation, immediate life support and catheterisation. 

Audiology

Audiology is an attractive option for anyone looking to work in a scientific profession but have direct contact with patients whose care and management they are responsible for. There are opportunities to train as an undergraduate or to use the knowledge gained from a scientific degree and train as a postgraduate.

Audiology includes three main areas:

  • adult rehabilitation (assessing hearing and fitting hearing aids)

  • diagnostic audiovestibular (DAV) assessment and rehabilitation (assessing and managing more complex problems such as balance difficulties)

  • paediatric assessment and rehabilitation (assessing children’s hearing from newborn stage up to teenagers, with fitting and management of hearing aids as appropriate).

There are also opportunities to work within hearing therapy or auditory implants, such as cochlear implants.

It's possible to train as an audiologist through the PTP undergraduate degree, which will usually initially lead to a band 5 job working predominantly with adults, or through the postgraduate STP programme which leads to registration as a band 7 and working in all areas of audiology.

Cancer care

The Southampton Oncology Centre is based at Southampton General Hospital, providing medical oncology, IP clinical oncology and malignant haemotology. Radiotherapy services are provided at a new centre onsite.

The centre serves a population of 1.75 million people across Hampshire, Wiltshire, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight. It offers a regional and supra-regional service throughout its combined and peripheral clinics. Providing a broad based non-surgical oncology service, and treating patients with all types of cancer, it provides expert specialist care to cure patients whenever possible, enhancing quality of life.

Specialist palliative care is provided by Countess Mountbatten House, based at Moorgreen Hospital, West End, Southampton. The House also provides accommodation for those patients who live too far to travel to the Southampton Oncology Centre for radiotherapy.

Cardiovascular and thoracic

Our cardiovascular and thoracic care group is a regional centre providing specialist care and treatment for people requiring cardiac surgery, cardiology management and intervention, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and adult congenital heart disease management on both the elective and emergency pathway. This makes managing the client population consistently interesting and challenging.

We have a national and international reputation for the delivery of expert care as one of the largest and most successful cardiac units in the UK. Clinical expertise is at the forefront of making sure all patients have the best evidence-based care.

All staff are committed to ensuring that the patients and their carers receive a high quality experience during their hospital pathway. Treating patients as individuals, with the privacy and dignity that they expect, ensures that we continue to uphold the reputation we have for delivering quality care.

Critical care

We have three adult intensive care wards in Southampton General Hospital. Our general, neurological and cardiac intensive care units (ICUs) are involved in the treatment of patients who are seriously ill.

Our 25-bed general ICU (GICU) admits around 1800 to 2000 people per year, delivering excellent results. Patients have one-to-one or one-to-two care from a nurse, and the unit prides itself on its highly trained multidisciplinary team. Physiotherapists, dietitians, consultants, nurses and administrative staff all work together to deliver the highest possible level of care to patients. The latest national data shows that survival rates for patients treated in our GICU are among the highest in the country, and we pride ourselves on the calibre and dedication of all the staff that help us to achieve this.

The unit is monitored by ICNARC (the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Committee) an organisation that keeps a record of every patient passing through intensive care and what happens to them.

Our cardiac unit is one of only a handful of dedicated cardiac ICUs in the country, and has excellent patient outcomes for all types of cardiac surgery. It's a purpose built 15-bed unit and has been specially designed with intensive care patients in mind. As a centre of excellence, we treat patients from the Wessex region and beyond, averaging 1400 patients per year.

Our neurosciences intensive care unit (NICU) provides specialised intensive care for patients who have a severe illness or injury affecting their brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. While admitted, our patients receive care from a consultant intensivist on a day-to-day basis, which is overseen by a consultant neurologist or neurosurgeon.

Emergency department 

Providing high-quality care to around 95,000 patients a year, this fast-paced department offers the chance to rapidly develop your skills as you take on a hugely rewarding role. As part of a major trauma centre and large teaching hospital, every member of the team has a responsibility to safeguard and protect both adults and children. 

The delivery of a brand new, purpose-built children's emergency department is part of a development within our bespoke children's hospital: a groundbreaking ambition that will have a monumental impact nationwide. The new department will bring the hospital firmly into the future, with innovative space and equipment allowing our staff to provide levels of care above and beyond what is currently possible.

We have a reputation for innovation and are committed to both developing our staff and welcoming their fresh ideas. We offer learning opportunities to support professional development, with a strong leadership network of matrons, consultant nurses and advanced practitioners who are there to guide and support you.

Gastrointestinal medicine 

Our gastrointestinal medicine services care for a wide variety of patients with a variety of illnesses. We have links with the newly refurbished endoscopy unit, and multidisciplinary teams provide round-the-clock care, working collectively in the patients’ best interests. Our teams are offered a range of education programmes – Trust-wide, local to the area or provided by our partners at the University of Southampton.

Work in gastrointestinal medicine is fast-paced, and we ensure that we are always looking at improving the facilities and services offered to patients, which means that exciting initiatives are always on the horizon.

Maternity and neonatal services

With approximately 5900 births annually, the maternity service at UHS is a fantastic place to gain experience. It’s a large tertiary provider of the most complex maternity services, including high risk maternal and fetal medicine and the delivery of infants who are extremely premature or have complex medical and surgical needs from birth.

Maternity services at UHS span both the acute hospital and the community setting including the New Forest Birth Centre in Ashurst. Care is delivered across the continuum of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods. 75% of care is delivered within a community setting, GP surgery, children’s centre or home environment, with approximately 56,000 antenatal contacts. Our birth rate at 24.2% remains well below the England rate of 27.1% for 2015-16. Our normal birth rate was 60.3% in 2016 which is higher than the national average. One of the key factors in any service’s caesarean rate is the degree of successful outcome of those women who are supported to have a vaginal birth following a previous caesarean birth. In 2016 our rate of successful VBAC was 69.3%, and will have significantly contributed to the overall low caesarean rate.

Together with Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP), the Trust is proud to have been selected as one of the seven ‘National Maternity Choice and Personalisation Pioneer Sites’ as a result of the national maternity ‘Better Births’ initiatives. This means that as a network we work collaboratively and have an established maternity network with a multi-professional maternity academy to deliver multi-professional training together. 

Medicine for older people

Medicine for older people is a multifaceted care group comprised of six wards, with three different settings. We have four acute wards, managing the care of a variety of patients over the age of 80. We have a transition ward, managing patients who are fit for discharge but would benefit from additional therapy or functional support while they wait for their discharge. We also have an enhanced care dementia unit, supporting patients with dementia that requires higher level nursing support.

Multi-professional teams work closely to provide around-the-clock care with our services driven by cutting-edge research. Our staff manage complex patients and their families, working with members of the extended older person’s mental health and enhanced care teams, as well as linking with our partners in the community.

Neurosciences 

As one of the UK’s largest and busiest neuroscience units, the Wessex Neurological Centre provides an integrated 24 hour acute neurosurgical assessment, investigation and treatment service to a population of more than three million people. In addition to outpatient care, our team treats around 4,000 inpatients each year.

The centre also houses a large state-of-the-art intensive care unit. For ambitious clinical physiologists specialising in neurophysiology, this offers a hugely diverse and challenging working environment. There are opportunities to gain experience in a wide range of procedures within this busy centre including electroencephalography (EEG), evoked potentials (EPs) and nerve conduction studies (NCS), building a solid foundation for future career progression into more specialist techniques such as intra-operative monitoring (IOM) and video-telemetry (VT).

We have two areas dedicated to treating and aiding recovery from strokes: our hyper acute stroke unit and stroke rehab ward. Our stroke outcomes are among the best in the country, and with plans to expand the hyper acute stroke unit over the next few months, we hope to soon become a regional centre for mechanical thrombectomy.

Ophthalmology

Southampton Eye Unit is a tertiary referral centre receiving patients from across the south, the Channel Islands and further afield for specialist eye treatment. Our unit is one of a small number of units nationally that has been commissioned by NHS England to deliver innovative treatment such as corneal collagen cross-linking. We have recently appointed an orbital specialist and are developing our ocular-plastics services further. Our new cataract pathway is in line with our patient improvement framework and Trust values.

Per year, we see on average 24,000 eye casualty attendances with 6000 admissions to our day case and inpatient ward. Currently we have around 90,000 outpatient attendances, however, with our innovative mobile retinal unit, this number is set to increase when we take our service to our patients in the community. We will be providing high level treatment to patients closer to their homes, working hard to provide a ‘hospital without walls’ approach to some of our most vulnerable patients.

Paediatric

Southampton Children’s Hospital is one of the UK’s biggest children’s hospitals and caters for the widest range of paediatric specialties in the country. We can offer you a diverse range of clinical experience within one hospital.

The children’s hospital has 150 beds across eleven specialty wards including general medicine, paediatric intensive care, high dependency, neonatal intensive care, neurology and neurosurgery, general surgery, cardiac surgery, orthopaedic surgery, nephrology, urology, paediatric oncology and day ward. The hospital also has a paediatric assessment unit and an outpatient department, which provide paediatric services in allergy, endocrinology, immunology and rheumatology. Clinical practice is also supported by our outreach team, who help staff in the care of complex and acutely unwell children. We also have one of the most extensive teams of specialist nurses in the UK, offering direct clinical support and formal education to ward nurses.

At Southampton Children’s Hospital, we are currently entering an exciting stage of our development. Our vision is to build a dedicated state-of-the-art children’s hospital, which will bring all of our paediatric services under one roof for the first time. The Trust has a proud history of delivering world class healthcare for children in the region, and the new £70 million building will make the highest quality hospital environment available to our young people, from babies to teenagers. It will also enable our staff to have state of the art facilities in which to work and carry out their care.

Radiology 

We have one of the largest radiology services in the country, providing a wide range of diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology services, within 16 departments and specialist sub-departments. Our equipment management service ensures we use the latest technology available.

As both a major trauma centre and a tertiary treatment centre for a range of specialist pathways, we deliver specialist services to the Trust and region, including: neuro-radiology, paediatrics, cardiothoracic, cardiology, oncology, vascular, musculoskeletal and trauma – as well as the standard surgical and medical pathways of a general hospital. Our specialist interventional departments provide cutting-edge services in hepatobilary, vascular, neuro and cardiac image-guided surgery and therapy, including a brand new state-of-the-art hybrid lab with robotic imaging.

As a radiologist, you can specialise in any of these areas and as a radiographer, your career pathway can take you through any of these departments to specialise in a specific modality or pathway. This can lead you towards advanced practice in ultrasound, radiography reporting and specialist clinical practice, as well as service management and beyond.

Respiratory medicine 

This thriving department has two wards, an HDU and a respiratory centre. We offer a comprehensive respiratory education programme, which runs three times a year, to ensure our teams have high levels of knowledge and the skills required to provide excellent specialist care.

We work closely with the multidisciplinary team, which includes nurses, therapists, doctors, discharge officers and nurse specialists, utilising a collaborative approach to work, which results in innovative problem-solving and proactive steps made in the journey of our patients.

Opportunities to get involved with respiratory research are available, alongside clinical duties, and ideas for projects and developments are always welcomed throughout all of our departments.

Specialist medicine 

Our specialist medicine services include:

C5 - isolation
C5 is a 14-bed isolation area, of which all rooms are en-suites and under negative pressure to enable effective isolation of patients with infectious diseases. Our main patient groups on IDU are patients with TB, HIV and cystic fibrosis. We also care for patients with infectious diseases such as avian flu, tropical diseases such as malaria or dengue fever, and hospital acquired infections such as MRSA.

Cystic fibrosis
The Southampton adult cystic fibrosis service is a regional specialist centre, providing care for approximately 180 full care patients across the central south coast, from the age of 16 and upwards. These patients are cared for by a large multidisciplinary team, all with different specialist areas of expertise, including physiotherapy and dietetics.

Dermatology
Situated at the Royal South Hants, our dermatology department is an acute centre, dealing with high volumes of referrals alongside clinics in the south central area.

Endoscopy
Our endoscopy department serves both inpatients and outpatients, with various procedures being undertaken for the diagnosis and treatment of various gastric conditions, including the treatment of bleeding ulcers or taking samples of tissue for biopsies.

There is also a recovery area where patients who are sedated for their procedures are monitored.

Rheumatology
Rheumatology is a rapidly evolving medical specialty, with advancements owing largely to new scientific discoveries relating to immunology of rheumatic diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, vasculitis and inheritable connective tissue disorders.

Our rheumatology department works collaboratively with the team at Victoria House and a range of professionals across the Trust, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and researchers.

Victoria House infusion unit
The infusion unit delivers treatment to patients with long term medical conditions. Patients attending the unit are given complex pharmacological treatment, including biologic and cytotoxic therapy.

Specialties covered are: gastroenterology, rheumatology, hepatology, immunology, respiratory, dermatology and neurology. The unit also administers blood transfusions and iron infusions, as well as immunoglobins and replacement infusions of saline, magnesium and albumin.

Speech and language therapy/dietetics

This integrated department is comprised of dietitians, speech and language therapists, nutrition nurse specialists, assistants and administrative staff.

Our speech and language therapy team works in the acute hospital setting, while our dietetic team works across both acute and community services.

We operate across a range of clinical specialties, providing both inpatient and outpatient care, taking a proactive and imaginative approach to delivering a patient and family-centred service.

Surgery

We care for over 20,000 emergency and elective inpatients each year, as well as over 60,000 outpatients. We’re a specialist centre for services such as urology, hepatobiliary and head and neck surgery. 

Theatres and recovery

Our theatres department comprises 27 centre block and neurosciences theatres in five locations, providing a range of services from cardiac (four theatres) to paediatrics (seven theatres), and all specialties in-between.

Our major trauma theatres and elective orthopaedic theatres are innovative and groundbreaking within the trauma orthopaedic field, and our neurosciences team are at the forefront of their specialty with surgeons who are recognised by fellow professionals as leaders in their field.

Our paediatric service cares for children in all specialties including cardiac, neurosciences, spinal corrective surgery, oncology and paediatric orthopaedics. Our adult services include upper GI and colorectal services, where we have begun a programme of intra operative radiotherapy (IOERT), new to the colorectal service. Our laparoscopic theatres have been newly refurbished and have state of the art facilities.

We also supply anaesthetic services across the Trust and to many satellite areas including radiotherapy and interventional radiology.

Therapies

We have a combined therapy workforce of over 240 whole time equivalent staff, or approximately 280 people. We employ occupational therapists, physiotherapists and therapy support staff to provide a seven day service working 365 days a year.

We’ve been a combined department since 2007, which means that all of our therapists work closely together within their clinical area, sharing information and delivering therapy as a combined team to benefit our patients.

Our therapists are grouped into specialist clinical teams and offer a range of specialist assessments and interventions on the wards, in some clinics and therapy outpatients and in our local hospice. We have services available to all age groups and specialties.

Our occupational therapists work with adults and children of all ages who suffer from a wide range of clinical conditions, most commonly those who have difficulties due to a mental illness or physical or learning disabilities. They provide practical support to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers preventing them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them.

Physiotherapists working in our Trust help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease. A physiotherapist helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them to remain independent for as long as possible.

Trauma and orthopaedics

Trauma and orthopaedics have just completed the first phase of a refurbishment to create a dedicated orthopaedic major trauma ward here at UHS, allowing us to improve the work we do as a major trauma centre and provide our patients with the best possible care.

The care group serves a diverse range of patient groups, from treating the acutely unwell to expert falls management and dementia care, supporting its staff to deliver effective high standard care at all levels. Dedicated staff work cohesively and always in the best interest of our patients. Mortality rates and length of stay continue to reduce, which is a testament to staff expertise and an expression of our drive to be always improving.

Women's services

Women’s services, based at the Princess Anne Hospital, include both breast and gynaecology services, also encompassing a wide range of sub-specialties such as oncology, early pregnancy, and urogynaecology, as well as a number of cancer screening services. We take pride in delivering a high standard of nursing care and working as part of a close multidisciplinary team. There are many opportunities within the unit to expand your knowledge and skills through a rich breadth of experience.

We have an expert team of subspecialists in breast cancer and gynaecological oncology who see local women, as well as providing a regional service to women with more complex needs. These services are usually accessed through a rapid access diagnostic clinic, with the service users supported by a multidisciplinary team, including a team of specialist nurses, over the course of their treatment.