A new service is now in place at the Lister hospital that means frail older people brought in to the hospital’s emergency department, frequently by ambulance, are now referred quickly for assessment by a specialist, consultant-led multidisciplinary team.
In many cases, these individuals may not need to be admitted and with the right care put in place, can return home safely. Where patients are moved to an inpatient bed, the multi-disciplinary team works with their ward colleagues to ensure that a patient’s stay in hospital is no longer than required. This is because people who are older and frail are at much greater risk of falls when in hospital and their overall mobility can deteriorate more quickly, making their ongoing care even more difficult.
The triage nurses in the Lister’s emergency department now follow a protocol to help them identify those patients who need to be assessed by the frailty assessment team. Currently the service operates between 9.00am and 4.00pm daily, Monday to Friday; outside these times, patients continue to be cared for by the emergency department team, supported by specialist colleagues as required.
Commenting Sir Oliver said “This is a very sensible approach and it will be of great benefit to patients not to be in hospital any longer than absolutely necessary.”