New assessment service at NNUH to enhance care for older patients in Norfolk
Next month the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will be launching a new ambulatory service aimed at enhancing the care given to older people in Norfolk and enabling those who require a specialist assessment to get it as quickly as possible.
The service will be welcoming its first patients in early October, following referral from their GP. Rather than waiting for a routine hospital appointment, and then patients needing to return to the hospital for further tests or being admitted to hospital, older patients will now be seen by a specialist team consisting of doctors, nurses and therapists within 48 hours.
Dr Alice Schweigart, Associate Specialist for Older Peoples’ Medicine at NNUH and Clinical Lead for the new service said: “We are extremely excited to be introducing this service for our older patients. Norfolk has a significantly older than average population and this new service will be of great benefit for them.”
Most tests will be performed on the day and GPs will receive a full report about the patient on that same day.
Jo Walmsley, NNUH Senior Operational Manager for Medicine Division said: “The key advantage of this service is that it builds on the success we have already had with raising awareness of frailty in our older population. As part of that work, we introduced the concept of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) for patients who were admitted to hospital, which is a diagnostic process designed to identify an older person’s risk of frailty by assessing their medical conditions, mental health, level of independence and social circumstances.”
Jo added: “GPs will now be able to refer a patient to us and that patient will be invited for their ambulatory assessment within 48hours. No one wants to be admitted into hospital as an inpatient unnecessarily and the introduction of this service helps to reduce the possibility of this happening.”
Dr Frankie Swords, NNUH Chief of Division for Medicine said: “This is a really exciting service we’re introducing. Delivering excellent patient care is at the forefront of everything we do and the launch of this service builds on the great work our emergency teams are already doing and demonstrates our commitment to enhancing services for our older patients. My thanks go to all those involved in driving this new service forward and I look forward to seeing the benefits it will have for our patients.”