15 July 2022
An innovative urgent community response team celebrated the addition of a second vehicle to its falls and frailty car service in North Hampshire this week. The service enables patients living with frailty to be treated at home and to avoid a trip to the Emergency Department. At the launch, BBC South Today filmed a patient story, and heard from clinicians representing each provider involved in this model: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).
Comprising a specialist SCAS paramedic and a frailty specialist clinician from Southern Health and HHFT, the team is dispatched in the ‘frailty car’ which carries adaptive equipment to support and facilitate therapeutic interventions and assessments to treat patients in their own homes.
The team typically attends to patients who have had a fall or are displaying related symptoms associated with frailty. They can assess and treat underlying illness and minor wounds, assess mobility and function, and provide appropriate equipment to enable them to remain at home safely, with wrap around support provided where needed with the hospital at home.
This service has now seen over 1,000 patients within their homes since November 2020, of which around 79% have not needed to be admitted to hospital, have been treated in their own home and received follow up appointments from the urgent community response teams.
Wessex AHSN’s healthy ageing team worked in partnership with the providers to review this collaborative approach, and consolidate the learning into an Urgent Community Response Frailty Service Toolkit to support the spread of the model across England and help ambulance services to deliver the national urgent community response target. The toolkit was launched in April this year, offering a standardised response approach with strategic and operational tools to help develop services in one easy to use, accessible resource.
Cheryl Davies, Senior Programme Manager at Wessex AHSN, said “In working with Southern Health, SCAS and HHFT to develop this innovative service for people living with frailty, we realised there was no standard approach to delivering an urgent community frailty response in other regions. We’ve developed an interactive toolkit built on real-life insight and best practice approaches to replicate this model across the country and support our health services to provide safe personalised care.”
Hannah Munns, Frailty Matron at Basingstoke hospital, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust explains “The key to [the falls and frailty car service’s] success is excellent liaison between clinicians from community, emergency and acute services, so if a patient does need to be admitted it is as smooth and co-ordinated as possible. We are so proud of this service – working together to deliver high quality care in the right environment for our patients.”
The falls and frailty car service, including the urgent community frailty response toolkit, has been shortlisted in the prestigious HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2022. Winners will be announced on 15 September. Read more about it here: https://wessexahsn.org.uk/news/2076/wessex-ahsn-shortlisted-for-national-hsj-patient-safety-awards-2022
Watch the news piece below: