In a move to open up beds to acutely ill patients sooner, Craigavon Area Hospital has opened a new discharge lounge at the hospital.
This means that patients - who are accessed as fit to go home - will moved from beds in the hospital's main wards to the lounge where they can wait for their discharge papers and medication.
Situated on the ground floor of the hospital in the Ramone building, patients fit for home will be transferred to the new lounge on the day of their release.
Staffed by trained nurses, meals and refreshments will also be available as needed on the ward, while free parking will be provided for 10 minutes to allow for swift collections.
The Southern Trust said family members are also welcome to wait with patients, as they wait for final discharge from treatment at the hospital.
Welcoming the new development Louise Devlin, Head of Service for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: "Most patients want to get home to their own surroundings as soon as they are medically able and can sometimes find the discharge process a bit lengthy and frustrating from the time they are told they will be leaving until we have all the necessary arrangements in place.
"It is also really important, especially at this time of year when our hospital is so busy, that we can ensure those patients who need a bed most are admitted as quickly as possible.”
"The Discharge Lounge is a very welcome development in helping to improve patient flow throughout the hospital.
"We are delighted to be able to offer those who are fit for home a comfortable and safe place to wait until they are ready to go home while at the same time freeing up beds on the main wards for the next sick patient."