Frailty Assessment Area celebrates first year of improving care for older patients

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ care of older patients has celebrated a landmark moment after the Trust’s Frailty Assessment Area marked one year of providing care to those who most need it.

Supporting patient care through a multidisciplinary area of care for frail older patients, the area has gone from strength-to-strength as a key part of the Trust’s Patient Flow Improvement Programme.

This has been achieved with the involvement of community teams and Lancashire and Blackpool social care services. BTH’s Integrated Therapy Team have also provided expert input.

Speaking about the area, Dr Andrew Weatherburn, Head of Department and Frailty Lead at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said: “An urgent request was made last November (2021) to set up a Frailty Assessment Area (FAA) to support patient care within the Trust.

“There was a fantastic proactive response from all involved to develop and adapt an area which at the time was being utilised primarily for outpatient care. The aim was to build and develop a multidisciplinary area of care for frail older patients. Over the initial few months there were challenges faced but with the involvement of a consistent group of staff these were progressively overcome.

“An important part of care was the support and involvement of community teams particularly the Community Frailty Service with the development of a daily virtual board round with the support of both Lancashire and Blackpool social care services. A further key team has been our Integrated Therapy Team providing expert input in the area.

“The area has gone from strength to strength with the backing of a proactive adaptive team. Frailty is a key part of the Trust’s Patient Flow Improvement Programme. The future aim would be to see the further development of frailty services within the Trust as part of the wider system continuing to improve seamless links with the community for the benefit of our most vulnerable patients.”

Matron Maria Jennings said: “Thinking of the patient experience, frailty is for people that are in the community, for those who are living alone because they have lost a partner. They come into hospital to our service and we are able to deliver a full holistic assessment.

“We don’t just see the illness, we see the person. We look at what is wrong with them, how will they cope at home – will they be safe? It prevents them from being in hospital for weeks awaiting a care package. It’s all about giving them the best treatment and the best patient care.”

Posted in Home Page, Press Releases, Rethinking Flow: The Patient Flow Improvement Programme.