Hospital Dr News

Hospital pilot sites will improve care of elderly

Four NHS trusts have partnered with the Royal College of Physicians with the aim of improving the care of frail older patients.

It’s part of the RCP’s Future Hospital Programme which seeks to improving care by bringing medical specialist care closer to the patient wherever they are, in hospital or in the community.

The project has developed from the college’s Future Hospital report published in September 2013.

NHS trusts were invited to apply to become development sites, and from the 20 applications received, the RCP has invited four projects to become partners in implementing and evaluating the Future Hospital in practice.

Three of the projects aim specifically to improve the care of frail older patients, and the fourth aims to streamline the care of patients admitted via acute medical admissions services, including frail older patients, by amalgamating several assessment and admission pathways on a single emergency floor of the hospital.

At Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Dr Olwen Williams will lead a team aiming to improve access to care for frail older patients in rural Wales. The objective is to enhance the response to healthcare needs, including end of life care, by bringing access to specialist care within easy reach of those living at considerable distance from hospital, principally through the use of telemedicine.

In Mid Yorkshire Hospitals, Dr Dinesh Nagi and colleagues aim to develop an older people’s assessment service as a part of an acute care hub, with a particular focus on frail older patients with fragility syndrome. The team will seek to transform the ‘front door’ experience for older patients.

In Royal Blackburn Hospital, Dr John Dean and colleagues aim to deliver better quality and more effective services for frail older patients using integrated community teams working in partnership with primary, community, social and mental health care services.

In Worthing Hospital, Dr Roger Duckitt and colleagues aim to standardise pathways, streamline care and achieve safe, efficient clinical management for all patients. Key elements include early physician assessment of all patients including those with suspected surgical conditions, reduced transfer of patients between teams, and maximising opportunities to treat patients without hospital admission.

The RCP will support the development sites by helping them implement new ways of working, providing access to quality improvement expertise, and assistance in evaluating their individual programmes of work. The lessons learned by each development site will be collated and shared with other stakeholders in the Future Hospital Programme, with the intention of spreading good practice and fostering system-wide improvement in the care of medical patients.

Dr Anita Donley, chair, Future Hospital project board and RCP clinical vice-president, said: “We promised that the Future Hospital report wouldn’t languish on a shelf, and we are keeping that promise with our Future Hospital Programme of health improvement initiatives.

“I’m delighted to welcome the first four development sites to the Programme – together we’re harnessing the enthusiasm and willingness of NHS trusts to innovate where it matters – in improving direct patient care.”

For more information about the development sites visit here.

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