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Royal Surrey Frailty Care Team Up For Top BMJ Initiative Award

Published on: 13 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 15 Apr, 2019

The Adams team – photo RSCH

A Royal Surrey County Hospital team that has saved almost £2 million by reducing the amount of time frail older people have to spend in hospital by about a quarter, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Frail patients over 75 account for the largest increase in unplanned and emergency hospital attendance.

The team, led by consultant geriatrician James Adams, established a pathway of care that cut the average stay for these patients by 24 per cent, saving 40,000 hours they would have spent in a hospital bed.

The Adams team has been named finalists in the Care of the Older Person Team of the Year at The BMJ Awards 2019.

Dr Adams said: “A growing number of the people arriving in our Emergency Department are older and increasingly frail, with complex age-related long-term conditions.

“Now older patients with signs of frailty will have a rapid and comprehensive assessment from a multi-disciplinary team and a plan for their care is put in place.”

The team has also established a dedicated Older Persons Short-Stay Unit, ensuring these patients, often with signs of confusion, falls, and mobility issues, have access to the right care and intervention.

The team, doctors, nurses, therapists and social care practitioners, used quality improvement methodology to rapidly change paths for identifying and assessing patients with frailty.

The Acute Frailty Pathway reduced the time patients spend in the Emergency Department by 19 per cent and increased the number of same-day and next-day discharges. The reduction in bed days is estimated as saving £1.9 million.

Dr Adams said: “No-one wants to be in hospital when they don’t have to be and we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far for our patients.

“Time is the most precious currency that older people living with frailty have and I’m pleased to say this work has saved over 40,000 hours of patient time that would have otherwise been wasted in a hospital bed.

“I am delighted to see that the work of the entire team has received this recognition. Our therapists, nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals deserve huge credit.”

Medical director Dr Marianne Illsley said: “The experience that our patients have as they make their way through the hospital is incredibly important to everyone at Royal Surrey. We are always keen to develop innovative ways of working to ensure we lead the way on delivering the very best care and treatment.

“Dr Adams and the team have demonstrated unwavering commitment to improving the journey of this vulnerable group of patients and ensuring they are not spending unnecessary time in hospital.”

The winners of the BMJ awards will be announced on April 24 in a glittering ceremony at Westminster Plaza Hotel in London.

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