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HENCEL funded frailty academy project successfully reduces A&E admissions for the elderly

2 September 2015

The HENCEL funded frailty academy was set up by UCLPartners with key partners across the Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) health economy and London Ambulance Service (LAS). The programme was developed through UCLPartners working with the Innovation Unit; a learning collaborative of doctors, nurses and AHPs, community nurses, paramedics and care home staff who explore ways to improve care for the frail elderly population.

The aim of this project was to enable frail, elderly people who have fallen to stay safely in their own homes whenever possible. The collaborative used the funding to run a falls specialist response car, staffed with a community treatment team (CTT) nurse and a paramedic. The CTT assessed the patient and only sent an ambulance if required. This reduced unnecessary conveyances and admission to A&E.

From October 2014 to July 2015, 601 patients were kept safely in their own homes, freeing up the same number of ambulances to deal with other emergencies. This led to the reduction of 481 bed days across the health economy which had a significant impact on flow within A&E. The new service has been greeted with overwhelmingly positive patient feedback, and has been commissioned by Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge CCGs for 2015/16.

The project’s success has been recognised nationally as well at the Patient Safety Congress and Awards poster competition on 7 July 2015 in Birmingham. Out of 280 submissions, the poster won the top prize, which is an outstanding achievement.

To learn more about the frailty project, please contact Lea Agambar at lea.agambar@nelft.nhs.uk.