A pioneering specialist team of doctors, nurse practitioners and therapists at the Royal United Hospital in Bath has been honoured for its work in helping older patients to avoid being admitted to hospital.
The Frailty Flying Squad works in the RUH Emergency Department and Medical Assessment Unit and identifies older patients who, with some intensive assessment and treatment, have the opportunity to return to the community rather than being admitted to hospital.
The Squad was voted Team of the Year, for demonstrating outstanding leadership and dedication, at the Trust’s 2017 New Year’s Honours Awards ceremony, held at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.
Consultant Geriatrician Genevieve Robson said: “It’s recognised that sometimes hospital is not the best place to be for an older frail patient. Bed-rest can lead to loss of strength and a deterioration in health, while going home quickly to a safety net of family support can actually be much better.
“Most patients would choose to stay at home if they could, instead of being admitted to a ward. Our project has been very successful for them and for the hospital.
“We’re thrilled to receive the award, and proud that the work is really being of benefit to patients.”
The key is early senior assessment and treatment combined with timely discussions with families, carers and other community support services.
About a third of patients who would otherwise be admitted are discharged within 24 hours, while overall length of stay has reduced.
The Squad’s pioneering initiative has also been recognised by the National Emergency Improvement Team (ECIP) which has meant that it is now hosting other teams to share best practice.
The local Sustainable & Transformation Partnership (STP) has also submitted a proposal for national funding support to implement the model across the BaNES and Wiltshire area.
The Frailty Flying Squad was just one of the Trust teams and individuals recognised for their work in 2017 at the awards ceremony.
Brian Stables, Chairman of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our annual awards ceremony was a fantastic evening – it’s the perfect opportunity to recognise staff for their achievements of the past year.
“As ever the standard of nominations was extremely high and it was an honour to be at the event to hear the success, dedication and commitment of individuals and teams.
“Nominations for these awards are put forward by the staff and the finalists were shortlisted because of their dedication and professionalism to their patients.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the hard-working people we have at the RUH, who strive to be the best and are committed to the people they support every day.”