Recognising that it is often those closest to a patient – and the patients themselves – who realise when their condition is getting worse, University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) has launched a new initiative called Call 4 Concern.
It is a dedicated, 24/7 rapid response service provided by the trust’s outreach team. Aimed at inpatients who are worried their condition is getting worse or relatives/friends with concerns, it has been used successfully in other NHS hospitals across the south. It can also be an opportunity to give more information to the health care team caring for that person to support their stay.
Luke Ridout, critical care outreach lead, said: “The first point of call is still the nurses and doctors on the ward, and where a Call 4 Concern is made, the outreach team will have discussions with the ward team and can start treatment changes and investigations where necessary.”
Bringing Call 4 Concern to UHD was inspired by Alex’s story. Alex died at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in 2018 and his mother Karen said: “Alex had been ill for 10 years. He didn’t like to show weakness, he didn’t like to be a bother. For Alex to say ‘my head hurts’ meant that it was agony. Nobody knew Alex or his condition as well as I did. It didn’t matter that Alex was 36. If a family member says something is wrong then something is wrong.”
Luke added: “Alex and his mother were part of what inspired me to set up this Call 4 Concern service. There is strong evidence for this rapid response approach from the USA, where this is used in the majority of hospitals. It has since been brought into the NHS, and my team really wanted to implement it for UHD, especially around our wider work on supporting deteriorating patients.”
Published research shows this type of rapid response system empowers patients and their families and enables hospitals to create a strong safety culture.
For more information please see www.uhd.nhs.uk/about-us/patient-experience/call-4-concern.
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