Acute medical unit is the latest addition to the Noarlunga Hospital

Noarlunga Hospital has added a 12-bed acute medical unit to its services in a bid to help reduce hospital transfers, the pressure on emergency services and to provide local patients with local care.

The new ward which opens this week will have the capacity to hold around 30 patients a week, with each patient being able to be held in the ward for 72 hours.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the 12-bed medical short stay ward will mean patients, in particular older, frail and vulnerable members of the community, can once again be admitted directly into the Noarlunga Hospital.

"The State Government is today delivering on our commitment to expand medical services at Noarlunga Hospital and provide better care for people living in the south," Minister Wade said.

"We know that the population in the south is increasing, with the over 70s age group growing by 62 per cent over the next 12 years, and this ward opening is welcome news to them and the wider community."

It is hoped that the offering of this ward will help to reduce emergency pressure services; previously patients who will now be admitted here would have likely been transferred to Flinders Medical Centre to receive the appropriate treatment.

Clinical Director of Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care at Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Craig Whitehead, said the team will work closely with the emergency department to rapidly assess and discharge patients, or move them into the ward.

"Staff in the ward will work collaboratively with the existing geriatric services to achieve the best clinical outcomes," he said.

"We will support patients to either return home after their short stay or be transferred into specialist services.

"An increased senior nursing, medical and allied health presence across seven days will help to support early discharge through the coordination of out of hospital services."