Nightingale Acute Frailty Unit


The aim of this information sheet is to explain who the Acute Frailty Unit cares for and what happens during your stay with us. Please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff if you have any questions or concerns.

Nightingale Acute Frailty Unit

We are a short-stay unit that assesses frail older people as soon as they come to hospital. This is to ensure that you have your needs assessed by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team with specialist knowledge of ‘frailty’.

We aim to:

  • Provide the best possible care and treatment when you are in hospital and assess you quickly in a calm setting
  • Recognise your unique needs and circumstances
  • Minimise ward transfers and the time you spend in the Emergency Department
  • Provide support and treatment so you – and your carers – can manage your condition either at home or in an alternative suitable environment.

What is frailty?

When some people become unwell, it is not uncommon to lose their independence. Their ability to bounce back after having an illness, even if only minor, can be difficult. In older adults this is more common. They may have several health problems or struggle with their independence at home even when they are well. ‘Frailty’ is the medical term for being vulnerable in this way.

A healthcare professional can assess your level of frailty by asking a series of questions about your level of independence in the community.

How do you decide who is admitted to the acute frailty unit?

All patients over the age of 65 are assessed in the Emergency Department for frailty. A referral will be made to the older adult’s team depending on your clinical assessment. You will be seen on the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) by a Consultant who will make a decision about whether the Acute Frailty Unit would be appropriate for you. The unit will provide care for those patients where there is evidence that specialist input will improve their care.

What happens on the acute frailty unit?

You will be seen by our specialist team of doctors, nurses and therapists who will establish an individualised care plan for you. The team will work with community services to ensure you are discharged to an appropriate destination with care suited to your individual needs.

How long will I be on the acute frailty unit?

The aim of the unit is to return you to your home environment as quickly and safely as possible. This can be between one and three days.

What happens when you leave the acute frailty unit?

If you are well enough, you will be discharged home with a discharge summary and plan. This will be sent to your GP and will detail if any follow up is needed. If, however, you need on-going medical treatment, you will be moved to a medical ward for further care.

Visiting times

Relatives and visitors are welcome between 2pm and 8pm, 7 days a week. Carers can visit at any time and will be given a carers pass. Please speak to a member of staff to obtain one.

Meet the team


  • Dr Ruth Mizoguchi
  • Dr Phil Lee
  • Dr Tim Tong 


  • Sarah Purvis

Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for Older Adults and Frailty

  • Sarah Bryan

Ward Manager

  • Lucy Brash

Clinical Nurse Specialist Dementia

  • Orhan Yeter

Linked Campaigns and Initiatives

Contact information

Nightingale Ward
4th Floor, Lift Bank B
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital 

T: 020 3315 8500


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