Frailty assessment area relocated
A hospital in Dudley has transformed the way it assesses frail elderly patients who arrive at its Emergency Department ensuring they receive optimal care from a dedicated frailty team providing comprehensive geriatric assessment.
Russells Hall Hospital has moved its ward-based frailty assessment unit to the Emergency Department, in line with recommendation in the NHS Long Term Plan, enabling patients to get home sooner and maintaining their independence.
Frail patients with complex health conditions receive comprehensive geriatric assessment in the new frailty assessment area and receive support from a team of specialists to help prevent admission to hospital and reduce their re-attendance.
“When older frail patients attend our Emergency Department, they would often be admitted to a frailty ward. This could often be a lengthy process, time consuming and repetitive,” said chief operating officer Karen Kelly, of The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.
Elderly patients who are admitted to a ward are at high risk of falls, pressure ulcers, hospital-acquired infections, as well as immobility, delirium and loss of independence.
“Now in the new frailty assessment area in ED, they are seen by a team of frailty specialists supported by physio and occupational therapists, dietitians, district nurses, discharge coordinators and social services to help them return to their place of residence,” said Karen.
Dr Helen Hibbs, Senior Responsible Officer for the Black Country and West Birmingham STP, commented: “The number of people aged 65+ in Black Country and West Birmingham is expected to increase by 14% over the next 10 years. We want to do all we can to ensure that the most frail and vulnerable in our communities get the support they need in their communities and only have to visit a hospital when there are no other options.
“It is great to see that local hospitals like Russells Hall are developing new ways to ensure that when these people do attend our Emergency Departments they are seen quickly and that they are returned to independence as soon as possible.”