Paula Sheriff MP visited Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, a Royal College of Physicians Future Hospital Programme development site, to see, first hand, how frail older patients’ care has been improved following their admission to the acute assessment unit.
The Rapid Elderly Assessment Care Team (known as REACT) made up of Elderly Care Consultants, junior doctors, therapists, nurses and social workers, quickly and effectively work together to assess the most vulnerable members of the community as soon as they arrive at hospital.
This approach serves to ensure that older people, who are admitted to hospital, are offered treatment which is tailored and designed to meet all of their health needs, and that their care is planned accordingly. The team is now 24 months into the project and the initiative is making a hugely positive difference to the lives of Wakefield’s older population.
Paula Sherriff, MP for Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton, and Health Select Committee member said: “I was delighted to visit the clinical team last friday who are working hard to deliver hospital care that helps older people return home promptly and receive the care they need to maintain their independence. Supporting people to receive treatment at home where they are most comfortable and at ease, often aids a quicker recovery and helps to retain their independence; determined frontline action has reduced unnecessary admissions and time spent in hospital.
“It is encouraging to see that our local Trust is taking the lead in designing health services which deliver high quality patient care for older people and their families.”
Dr Frank Phelan, Head of Service for Elderly medicine, at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “It was a great privilege that Paula Sheriff, MP for Dewsbury, took time out of her busy schedule to visit Pinderfields Hospital and in particular our REACT service to see first-hand how we have developed a team that delivers a first class service for older people.
“Our drive is to provide really high quality care whilst in hospital, but also to do our best to get patients back to their own homes as quickly as possible. Paula will have witnessed that such a service is only achievable through team work and this includes not only the support of the Royal College of Physicians through the Future Hospitals Programme but also support of voluntary agencies such as Age UK. In addition feedback from patients and their carers have contributed greatly in moulding the service.”
The success of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s multidisciplinary REACT team in managing the increasing number of frail patients presenting to hospital has prompted plans for further expansion of the team so that a similar service is available for North Kirklees patients.
Photo: Paula Sherriff MP with The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust REACT team