Research Article

Programmed investigation unit.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: (Published 10 July 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:91
  1. Y Sachdev,
  2. A Gomez-Pan,
  3. P M Fletcher,
  4. R Hall


    The programmed investigation unit (PIU) is a inpatient unit where a full range of investigational medicine can be organised. It provides the basic minimum nursing care and is suitable for ambulant patients who can care for themselves. Requests for admission to the PIU at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, come directly from clinical units, and the staff of these units perform some of the tests and remain responsible for the patient while she is in the unit. At present the unit caters only for female medical patients. The average waiting time for admission is three weeks, and because the unit now deals with most investigations the waiting time for admission to the female general medical wards has fallen considerably. The staff of the unit have gained expertise in diagnostic methods, while the nurses of general medical wards have been free to concentrate on nursing those patients who need it. Separating patients who need investigations from those on general medical wards seems a logical way of using resources and staff to best effect.