New innovative service boost for local patient care

PATIENTS across Tendring are being offered an innovative new model of health care designed to provide care closer to home and avoid unnecessary admissions to Colchester Hospital.

Under the ACE-run community-based Rapid Assessment Service (RAS), patients will be referred by their GP, the ambulance service or other community health professionals to the new service.
Where patients meet the referral criteria, they will receive urgent comprehensive assessments in their home by Advance Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), who will support patients to remain at home wherever possible. The ANPs will have consultation, diagnostic and prescribing skills and will be supported by a community based consultant.

Where further diagnostics or observation is required, patients can be transferred to the new Rapid Assessment Unit at Clacton Hospital and if admission to a ward is appropriate, patients can be referred directly into community step-up beds at Clacton or Harwich. In addition, patients on the wards will receive enhanced therapy services to support recovery and independence and facilitate speedier discharge back to the patient’s home.

As part of this service modernisation, two ‘step-down’ wards at Clacton are being replaced by one ‘step-up’ ward and at a later date, by a new residential re-ablement ward service for patients from across north east Essex.

At the moment, a number of people go to their local surgery feeling unwell and the doctor is unsure whether they will be able to look after themselves properly at home or thinks they might need further tests, so the patient is often admitted to Colchester General Hospital.

Nicola Carmichael, Director of Operations at ACE, said: “We have spent many months carefully looking at options for providing the very best levels of care, speaking with and listening to members of the public and professionals involved in the front line of healthcare provision, locally and further afield.

“The model we have chosen combines some of the most effective and proven ideas from elsewhere in the country with new ideas of our own. It follows national thinking that patients, particularly the elderly, recover better in a home environment rather than a hospital setting. Our model is all about reducing the number of people who end up going into Colchester Hospital when it isn’t necessary and ensuring people’s stay in a hospital environment is no longer than necessary, as all the clinical evidence shows people’s recovery is speedier in their own home environment.”

New innovative service goes from strength to strength

AN innovative new model of health care designed to provide care closer to home and avoid unnecessary admissions to Colchester Hospital is going from strength to strength.

Emma Whiteford, Assistant Director of Operations at ACE, said: “The number of referrals to the service is increasing all the time. We had ten in a single day and we are now averaging five a day. Significantly, the number of inappropriate referrals has dropped to virtually zero.

“I’ve been working very closely with GPs across Tendring and also Colchester. They are very receptive to the service and are now referring regularly. We are also seeing an increasing number of referrals from the East of England Ambulance Service and we are in discussions with NHS 111 so that they can refer people to the service.
NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)