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Specialised Decision Unit

Specialised Decision Unit (SDU) is a purpose built emergency portal linked to our Emergency Department and cares for patients with cardiac, neurology and trauma conditions. The Unit is situated on level ground one adjacent to Ward 210.

The purpose of SDU is a 6-8 hour quick assessment unit where patients undergo assessment, treatment and diagnosis to establish whether they require admission.

Our patients have neurological, cardiac or trauma & orthopaedic conditions and are usually referred to the unit by a consultant or registrar or via GP.

Our neurology patients typically include those with severe headaches who require investigations and patients who have had seizures and require further review and intervention

Our cardiology patients include those with sudden onset of chest pain and require further investigations. We work closely with the Cardiac Assessment Nurses to ensure safe and effective management of our cardiac patients

Our trauma patients present with a variety of conditions but often have spinal complaints, including cauda equina.

As the matron for the Specialised Decision Unit, Trauma and Neurosurgery, I am incredibly proud of my team. This is a new and exciting opportunity for staff to come and join a fantastic new team taking a new service forward.

This will allow great opportunities to develop a varied skill set within the Specialised Division. We look forward to welcoming new staff and will ensure you receive support and development opportunities. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent care to our patients and our dynamic and enthusiastic team will provide mentorship and support to any new starters looking to join us on our journey to excellence.

Katie Shaw


Trauma, Neurosurgery and Specialised Decision Unit

I have been a nurse for 10 years and worked mostly in trauma. I joined the SDU team in 2020 and have found that my orthopaedic background has helped me immensely in working on the unit.

I enjoy the variety of the work on SDU as we also care for patients with neurological and cardiac conditions so my knowledge of these specialities has also improved. I enjoy liaising with a number of Multidisciplinary teams and have developed effective working relationships with the Cardiac Assessment Nurses amongst others.

We are a brand new unit so it is exciting to be involved in its development and to see it grow. SDU is an exciting and challenging area and any nursing staff that join us will become multi skilled by caring for a wide range of conditions. We improve flow through the emergency department and the unit is fast paced and acute.

Victoria Rai

Senior Staff Nurse

As the Specialised Decision Unit covers Trauma and Orthopaedics, Neurology and Cardiology, our nurses become multi skilled and versatile practitioners. By working in an emergency portal, staff are able to work directly with the multi-disciplinary teams from a range of specialities such as the Cardiac Assessment Nurses and the Neurology CNS team.

The senior SDU team are keen to develop staff and encourage our nurses to undertake the UHNM Organisational Development programmes. In addition, we also encourage our staff to work closely with the specialist practitioners across neurology, cardiology and trauma in order to build confidence and skills.

SDU is an emergency portal and our staff become skilled in patient assessment and in an awareness of patient flow throughout the hospital.

SDU is an ideal environment for anybody who wishes to develop a wide skillset and enjoys the fast pace of an emergency portal. The SDU team are keen to develop and grow the service and are ready to embrace nurses who are ambitious and are looking to enhance their skills.