August 2018 update - OPAL Solihull opening hours extended to offer 7 day service
From 1st August 2018, OPAL Solihull will be available on Saturdays and Sundays. Full service times are as follows:
- Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
- Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm
To speak to OPAL Solihull please call 0121 424 5666.
July 2018 update - FAST becomes OPAL
Frailty Advice and Support Team (FAST), initially piloted in 2017, has become the Older Person’s Assessment and Liaison Service (OPAL), part of a national framework to improve access to consultant led care to avoid admission and readmission to acute care.
Based in the Medical Day Hospital at Solihull Hospital, OPAL is a consultant geriatrician led multi-disciplinary team, which provides patient centred, comprehensive assessment of frail older adults living in Solihull or with a Solihull GP at a time of crisis.
OPAL accepts referrals for any frail older adult with an acute medical illness, who would normally be referred to Solihull Acute Medical Unit (AMU) or arrives at the hospital front door.
The service receives referrals for patients at risk of admission, into hospital directly from the community. For those patients presenting at the AMU, the team will review and transfer patients to the Medical Day Hospital for a comprehensive geriatric asssessment when appropriate.
OPAL will also offer early access to expert advice and assistance for frail older adults with a non-medical issue referred by health care professionals.
March 2018 update - Funding boost for FAST
NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG has awarded permanent funding to the project, and this means it can now recruit to a full team and be rolled out to all GPs in the Solihull area.
December 2017 update - FAST access for all Solihull GPs in new year
Early results from the pilot project involving 3 GP practices are looking positive. We've had excellent feedback from people being seen by the Frailty Advice and Support Team (FAST), including the following comments:
“Really excellent service. I couldn’t be more pleased. I was seen and sorted out really quickly. We are normally waiting for hours, this frees up a bed in admissions unit for those who are really poorly. I don’t like being in hospital and I’d rather be going home, so I am really happy.”
“This is the best experience we’ve ever had in this hospital and we’ve been in many times.“
From 1st January 2018 the pilot is being extended so that all Solihull GPs can access FAST. Initial opening hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Recruitment to enhance FAST is underway and this will allow us to extend opening hours.
October 2017 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”