Outpatient and day care treatment
Outpatient and day care treatment is hospital treatment that does not require an overnight stay.
Many hospital treatments are now carried out without the need for hospital admission. For example, you may be treated in a hospital outpatient clinic or admitted to a day ward and discharged on the same day as your treatment. This form of treatment is sometimes called ambulatory care and can take place in a variety of settings. Most first consultations with a specialist take place in an outpatient department. You may also need to go to an outpatient clinic or spend time on a day ward for more complex tests such as coronary angiography.
What treatment can be provided?
Many elements of hospital care, including giving specialist advice, prescribing drugs, and monitoring a person's condition, can be provided on a day care basis. In addition, a wide range of complex tests and treatments, including some surgical procedures and operations, can be carried out successfully in outpatient clinics or in day care units.
Many minor surgical procedures that do not need a general anaesthetic, such as cataract surgery on the eye, can be performed as day cases.
An increasing number of operations can be carried out as day cases using techniques that require only tiny incisions in the body or no incisions at all. Even after a general anaesthetic, you may not need to stay in hospital overnight.
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