Innovative work led by Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to deliver routine screening across Bournemouth hospitals is reducing unnecessary admissions and supporting timely discharge for people living with dementia.
The success of the Older Persons Assessment and Liaison for Dementia (OPAL) team has been recognised by being short listed for the dementia care category of the Care Integration Awards awards. The Care Integration Awards (www.careintegrationawards.com) are designed to recognise, promote and reward initiatives designed to achieve better integration between the primary, community and secondary health and care services. View the full awards shortlist.
The OPAL team is routinely screening all patients who attend the Emergency Department (ED), Acute Admissions Unit (AAU) and patients triaged to Medicine for the Elderly (MFE) to identify patients over the age of 65 that need assessment and management by an older person’s specialist whether it be therapist, nurse or consultant geriatrician.
Key features of the service provided by the OPAL team include:
- Offer comprehensive collateral history, functional assessment, cognition, mood and behaviour assessment.
- Support timely discharge from hospital.
- Promote ongoing assessment and early diagnosis.
- Outreach service supports environmentally sensitive assessment and care planning.
- Direct referrals to the specialist services.
The impact of OPAL team include:
- Increased number of older patients avoid admission from ED/AAU.
- Average length of stay has reduced from 35 to 18 days.
The OPAL team plan to increase outreach capacity for dementia patients being discharged from MFE wards. The team also plans tp rotate staff across service settings to increase staff knowledge and awareness across the entire dementia care pathway.
For more information about the work of the OPAL team contact:
Gemma Brittan, OPAL Team Lead, firstname.lastname@example.org, Trudi Ellis, OPAL Dementia Nurse Specialist, Trudi.Ellis@rbch.nhs.uk, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.