According to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, approximately 4,000 patients a day are currently experiencing waiting times of more than 12 hours in A&E. With the onset of cold weather and flu exacerbating these pressures, there has never been a more important time for us to reduce unavoidable hospital admissions.
What’s more, the cold weather and the illnesses it brings presents an increased risk to our elderly population. Hospital admissions of this nature contribute to the growing pressures on A&E departments.
To minimise these risks and reduce hospital admissions for the elderly population, the NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme (NIPP) is being implemented. The NIPP is designed to accelerate the evaluation and implementation of innovation that supports post-pandemic ways of working, builds service resilience and delivers benefits to patients.
The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has been working alongside ARC West Midlands, as well as Sandwell and West Birmingham Foundation Trust and South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, who have implemented new models of care for admission avoidance for older people living with frailty.
In this region, two models of care for admission and conveyance avoidance have been identified. The first, which is the South Warwickshire model, utilises geriatrician outreach and enhanced rapid response community services. The second, known as the Epicentre model and used out of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital, relies more on point of care testing, such as hand-held ultrasound and blood testing.
Helen Hunt, Innovation Programme Manager (Workforce) at the WMAHSN, is supporting the rollout of this innovative programme.
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