ALMOST 700 patients have been treated at a new department in Inverclyde Royal Hospital since April.

The new surgical assessment unit, which is located in a former surgical ward, has helped 692 people since its launch.

The department puts people in touch with senior decision makers quickly and helps to reduce unnecessary admissions to hospital.

Figures show that just 50 per cent of patients attended to in the unit have required hospital admission.

Staff make use of four assessment spaces and rooms where they run clinics.

Melanie McColgan, interim Clyde director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "This is part of our continued dedication to Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s future and our commitment to improving our services for the community."