The Rapid Access Consultant Evaluation (RACE) unit was introduced in late June 2010.
The length of stay of patients in the unit has reduced from 14 to around eight days, and around half of all patients are able to be discharged within 48 hours with comprehensive care plans.
The results are down to a multidisciplinary team approach, involving doctors, nurses, physio and occupational therapists, pharmacists and social services, from the moment a patient arrives on the unit. Consultants are available seven days a week to ensure that senior clinical decisions can be made about each individual patient, and treatments plans altered as required.
Government ministers have visited the service to hear first-hand about its ethos, and it has won national awards.
On 22 June, past and present staff, including clinicians and nurses, therapists, social services and the British Red Cross, which provides assisted discharge services to patients returning home that need a little extra support, ‘gathered’ virtually to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
Among them was Poole Hospital’s medical director, Dr Matt Thomas, who helped establish the unit in 2010, who said, “The success of RACE in its early days was due in large part to super-charging our multi-disciplinary working across specialties and roles, and the support that social services were able to give us.
“Ultimately, it is about how we have put patients at the centre, and brought each element of their care to them in a coherent and timely way that has proven itself time and time again.”
Dr Naomi Fox, clinical director for older people’s care, added, “Our staff love the dynamic pace in which they work, and our patients love the comprehensive care they receive which means they get to go home sooner.”
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