Posted: January 27 2017
The Rapid Response Team in St Albans and Harpenden, run by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT), was launched in November 2015. Clinicians, including GPs, can refer patients to the service. When the Rapid Response Team receives a referral they make contact with the patient within an hour to arrange a visit. During the home visit a holistic assessment is carried out to identity, plan and address the patient’s needs.
The team learnt that they have been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Award a few days ago. Their nomination, in the Community Health Service Redesign Category, was assessed by an expert judging panel who agreed too shortlist them.
Team members will now have to present to another judging panel in March before the awards are announced at a ceremony in London in May.
The Rapid Response team consists of nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, mental health nurses, social care workers, technical instructors, healthcare assistances, community care officers and a discharge co-ordinator from Age UK, all supported by a small admin team.
In its first year of operation the team accepted 660 referrals. The number of monthly referrals received by the Rapid Response team continues to increase – meaning more people are cared for in their home rather than in hospital. NHS figures show the team has managed to save 4,300 hospital bed days – this is an estimation of how many days and beds would have been used if the patient had ended up in hospital.
Charles Cadogan, HCT’s Locality Manager for St Albans and Harpenden, said: “Our patients tell us that the team provides an excellent service. GPs frequently tell me how much they value the team due to the time it saves them and the effectiveness in pulling together care for difficult situations.
“I positively glow with pride when I’m in a local meeting and a GP or member of the local patient’s group spontaneously reports a story about how the team kept one of their patients safely at home – that’s what they are there for.”
The HSJ have said this year’s nominations – 1,500 in total - have proven a tough job for the panel to shortlist due to the high quality of entries.
Charles added: “This team is an awesome example of fully integrated, community-based care for urgently sick people to provide an alternative to hospital care.”
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