ROYAL Preston Hospital's Surgical Assessment Unit, set up to reduce waiting times and support emergency admissions, has marked its first anniversary.
The unit was also created to support the safety of surgical emergency admissions 24 hours a day and seven days a week at the hospital.
Patients with conditions relating to general surgery, urology and vascular are now referred by their GP or urgent care centre directly to the unit.
The unit has seen huge successes in its first year; with waiting times being reduced on average by half and with 47 per cent of patients being discharged home the same day.
Following this success, hospital bosses say there are plans to expand to four more specialties over the next 12 months.
Lisa Elliott, divisional director for surgery, said: "I have watched this new team on SAU develop and grow from strength to strength over the last 12 months, always ensuring they have the patients at the heart of everything they do.
"The consistently demonstrate our organisational values and develop new ideas for improving the service they deliver.
"The team has created an environment that is inclusive of everyone and they have received positive feedback from both patients and staff to support this."