Giving older patients ‘rapid access’ through Daisy Hill
A new Rapid Access Clinic is now available to help reduce the length of time older patients need to spend in Daisy Hill Hospital.
The clinic, which currently operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the fourth floor of the hospital, takes referrals from GPs, the Emergency Department and community care staff.
It has proven useful for patients with a deterioration in mobility, ability to self care, or new confusion, often in association with conditions such as urinary tract and chest infections.
The hospital’s elderly care team assesses patients referred to this service and in most cases will have a plan of care for them within 24 hours. For many older people, this will give them the confidence to manage their treatment at home with the support of their GP and community staff and will help avoid unplanned hospital admission.
Dr Bronagh McGleenon is a Consultant Geriatrician and leads the Rapid Access Clinic. She explained, “Traditionally and even if they may not necessarily need emergency care, many older people are referred to the hospital through the Emergency Department if their GP cannot diagnose or treat their condition.
“The Rapid Access Clinic offers an alternative and more accessible service for these patients, with a direct route to our geriatric team and avoiding the need for older people to go through our emergency department which we know can be stressful and difficult for them.
“This also frees up the Emergency Department to deal with the critically urgent cases,” Dr McGleenon added.
Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust also explained. “This is a patient centred approach which recognises that Emergency Departments may not be the best places for older people when they become less able to manage their often complex conditions.
“By providing rapid clinical assessment and care for older patients in a way that is designed around their needs we are improving the quality of care we offer them and making the overall experience that little bit easier.
“I want to congratulate the staff in leading these improvements to our care, and I believe the Rapid Access Clinic is very much delivering the recommendations set out in ‘Transforming Your Care’,” Mairead added.
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