Day Care Treatment

Secondary care that does not require an overnight stay in hospital

Many secondary-care treatments are now carried out without the need for an overnight stay in hospital. For example, you may be treated in an outpatient clinic or attend hospital or another medical centre and return home on the same day as your treatment. This form of care is also known as ambulatory care. Most first consultations with a specialist take place in an outpatient clinic or day care unit. You may also need to go to an outpatient clinic, diagnostic and treatment centre, or go to hospital on a day care basis 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 tests and treatments, including some surgical procedures, can be carried out successfully in outpatient clinics or day care units. For example, cataract surgery on the eye is usually performed on a day care basis. Even some types of surgery performed under a general anaesthetic can now be done without needing an overnight hospital stay.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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