A new health and social care community in-reach team, embedded within the emergency department, is now in place at the RAH. The team’s role is to prevent unnecessary admission to hospital following A&E treatment by ensuring that patients, particularly older people and those with disabilities receive the right community health and social care they need at home as soon as they leave hospital. This new joint service will build upon the existing work already underway at the RAH by the current NHS Rehabilitation and Enablement Service.
At the moment a patient may attend A&E, receive appropriate treatment and be perfectly fit to go home but is admitted unnecessarily because they require immediate support at home. They might for example be unable to prepare food because of a sprained wrist, require minor equipment in the home or need help with personal care and this is where the community in-reach team kick in. They can rapidly arrange all the appropriate support a patient needs in their home such as the provision of meals, delivery or installation of equipment and care at home or nursing services including overnight support all of which enables the patient to be safely discharged and supported at home.
Crucially the team also work closely with the patient’s GP and other health and social care professionals in the community to ensure that the care plan put in place by the A&E team for follow-up is enacted. This very significant measure will ensure the patient gets the continued care they need and may well prevent a repeat trip to A&E.