October update - Pilot project with GPs goes live
At the beginning of October we started piloting a new way of supporting frail older adults in crisis and at risk of admission to hospital.
The Frailty Advice and Support Team (FAST) is based at the Medical Day Hospital in Solihull Hospital. FAST is a consultant geriatrician led multidisciplinary team providing rapid assessment of frail older adults living in Solihull (or with a Solihull GP) at a time of crisis.
The 3 month pilot project involves 3 GP practices. Instead of referring frail older adults with an acute medical illness to Solihull’s Acute Medical Unit (AMU), the GPs are referring them to the Frailty Advice and Support Team.
Referrals are taken by a clinical triage nurse and a consultant geriatrician is available for advice if required. Patients are reviewed the same day or next day (if appropriate) and FAST arranges treatment in the most appropriate place for the patient, whether that’s hospital or home with support from community services.
Zoe Wyrko, consultant geriatrician and Interim Associate Medical Director at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT), is leading the project. Commenting on the pilot, she says: “Following months of hard work by the team, it is brilliant to finally see the IDH in action. We are already seeing benefits to patients and local GPs as a result of streamlined communication and services. As the FAST team recruit more staff over coming months, the impact will be even greater.”
The 77 year old gentleman had been feeling generally unwell for 2 weeks and was suffering from dizziness when he came to the Acute Medical Unit. FAST identified him and brought him to the Medical Day Hospital to have full Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. The main issues were side effects from medications and chest infection. He was discharged home with antibiotics and advice to stop his blood pressure tablets. He arrived in AMU at 1:30 pm and was discharged from the Medical Day Hospital at 4 pm.
Patient and wife feedback: “the service is absolutely wonderful”
We will keep this page updated as the pilot continues.