The Outpatients Department (OPD) is the entry point to the hospital as regards patient reception. The department at the moment houses the emergency unit where the critically ill patients are attended to before they are admitted to the inpatient departments, transferred or referred to other health facilities. The construction of the emergency department is ongoing and once completed all emergencies will be handled there leaving the OPD to deal with those patients that do not need critical care or hospital admission.At the moment, the department functions on a 24 hour basis including weekends and public holidays, however, it is anticipated that when the emergency department becomes operational the OPD will be open from 8.00am to 5.00pm. There are various specialized clinics in the hospital that operate on an outpatient basis and are also part of the OPD, however, they are directly supervised by the specific major hospital departments. Patients attending these specialized clinics are referred from the OPD; others are directly referred from other health facilities and others for follow up. These clinics operate from 8.00am to 5.00pm only on working days.
The OPD / Emergency department is headed by a General Surgeon who reports to the Medical Director. The head of department together with the sister in charge (reports to the Head of department and the Senior Principal Nursing Officer) are responsible for the day to day running of the department.
The staff at the OPD are recruited and accordingly deployed to the department by the Hospital Management Team. They are governed by the Hospital Charter and follow the hospital procedures (appraisal, leaves, staff remuneration, etc) as laid down in the Employment Manual (copy in the departmental office). The number of staff in the department is not constant. There are doctors from in-patient departments who routinely rotate in the department; however, those that are deployed to work full time in the department are five and three Clinical Officers. All staffs working in the department follow a monthly working schedule as provided, the nursing staff work in shifts whereas the doctors work from 8.00am to 5.00pm on working days and 8.00am to 2.00pm on weekends and public holidays. The remaining times are covered by doctors on emergency take and they also follow a monthly schedule.
Every staff deployed into the department reports to the Head of Department and In-charge before assumption of his / her duties. The staff is taken through the induction process that also includes a familiarization tour of the department; formal introduction to members in the department is done during a departmental meeting.
On a daily basis, on arrival in the department for work, the staff must register in the departmental attendance register, and in the course of the day indicates in the same register the times moved out of the department and the times returned. After registration, the staff reports at his/her work station as designated on that particular day.