A new service to help improve emergency care for frail elderly patients, and reduce their stay in hospital, has been launched by Medway NHS Foundation Trust.
The Acute Frailty Service has been introduced as a special pilot project with one overriding objective: to ensure frail elderly patients are seen by a specialist team, including a geriatric consultant and specialist nurse, upon their arrival in the emergency department or medical assessment unit at Medway Maritime Hospital.
The service is a prime example of how Medway NHS Foundation Trust is taking proactive steps to improve patient care by minimising the number of different doctors that patients see – one of the key issues raised in the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report released last week.
In the past, patients would need to have been admitted before they could see specialist geriatricians. Patients are now attended to as soon as possible, and in some cases, can avoid an unnecessary admission – saving vital hospital bed space in the process. Following the launch of the service, Medway NHS Foundation Trust has witnessed positive results.
Dr Sanjay Suman, Consultant Geriatrician at Medway NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are pleased this service is now available to our elderly frail patients. As a result of this service, patients are now seen by a specialist team as soon as they arrive in our emergency department.
“This means patients in some cases can go home the same day to their comfort of their own homes – something that might not have happened in the past. This new approach will ensure a clear treatment and discharge plan is put in place as soon as the patient is admitted.
“In light of last week’s CQC’s report, it is imperative that we continue to deliver projects of this nature to ensure our elderly patients are seen by an integrated team of medical professionals, rather than multiple doctors. This will ultimately herald better results in terms of getting patients the right type of treatment, and improving their overall experience.”
Dr Pete Green, Chief Clinical Officer, NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group said “Medway Clinical Commissioning Group welcomes this service improvement at the Trust.
“It will improve patient care by minimising the number of different doctors that patients see, and in some instances even avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. This new service will allow patients to be seen sooner by specialist clinical staff and get access to the right care in a more timely fashion.