The Rapid Access Consultant Evaluation (RACE) clinic is a same-day emergency clinic for older people and has been a key part of the wider RACE unit at the hospital since 2015.
At the clinic, older patients can have a comprehensive assessment including rapid access to diagnostics and treatment on the same day, avoiding the need for an inpatient stay in hospital.
Led by a team of advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), with consultant geriatrician support, the team accepts patient referrals directly from both the emergency department and GPs for older patients with a variety of medical complaints and often complex conditions.
Recent investment has allowed the clinic to expand, almost doubling in size. There are now four bespoke examination rooms, affording greater privacy and dignity for patients, and new patient facilities.
The main clinic room has been furnished with comfortable patient recliner chairs and a television, supported through Poole Hospital Charity’s Christmas appeal, to create a relaxing, calm environment for care and treatment.
The clinic was officially opened on 29 March, with Sue Greenwood cutting the ribbon. Sue is due to retire after joining Poole Hospital in 1981, and was on the unit when it opened six years ago – in much humbler surroundings.
“It’s been a privilege to have been part of the clinic since day one, and it is incredible to see its transformation from just a single cubicle to the service we offer today,” said Sue.
“This is a great new chapter in the clinic’s life, and I’m very happy to have been part of its story.”
Dr Freyja Brown, clinical lead, said the clinic has helped shape elderly care beyond Poole Hospital.
“When the clinic first opened, dedicated same-day care for frail patients wasn’t widespread across the NHS as it is now,” she said.
“As demand for this kind of care for older people has increased, so the RACE clinic has tried to keep pace, and others have been able to learn from its success.
“It is fantastic to see the clinic move from strength to strength to become what we have today – a purpose-built nurse-led clinic offering comprehensive multidisciplinary care to patients.
“The ANPs who deliver this service are rightly proud of it, and that’s a feeling shared by the wider team too.”
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