Award nomination for Doncaster service

Doncaster’s Rapid Response service has been recognised as an exemplar service in the 2019 HSJ Value Awards.

This new, innovative service been shortlisted under the Improving Value in the Care of Older Patients Award, led by Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in partnership with Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (DBTH), Fylde Coast Medical Services (FCMS), Doncaster Council and organisations across the voluntary sector.

The Rapid Response service ensures that just one integrated health and social care assessment is completed in a patient’s home as a result of a fall, illness or injury, ultimately helping to reduce the number of admissions to hospital that could have been avoided.

The Integrated Doncaster Care Record (iDCR) has been central to the success of the service to date. The iDCR joins patient health and care records together so health professionals have a more detailed picture of an individual’s health and care records, meaning care and assessments can be carried out much more quickly.

The NHS in Doncaster has a long term vision to move away from services working in isolation. In this example, health and social care organisations have been able to focus more on short term, intensive interventions, as well as creating an integrated rehabilitation and reablement service to get people back on their feet and maintain their independence for as long as possible. This is commonly known as intermediate care.

When intermediate care is needed, people now receive a simple, responsive and flexible package of care that ensures their physical, mental health and social care needs are met in an integrated way, avoiding admission to hospital.

The service is also vitally accessed by teams within the emergency department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary to assist in safely transferring the care of an individual back into the community. Of patients that do require admission to hospital, this transition is important, particularly when they do not require further support by the hospital.

As a result of partnership working and implementing an integrated assessment, the number of times ambulance crews took people over the age of 65 to the emergency department as a result of a fall has fallen by 15%. Year to date, this has reduced by a further 14%. In addition, the number of unplanned hospital admissions for people aged 65 and over for trauma and orthopaedics has also decreased by 17% in the last two years.

The Rapid Response service has resulted in fewer people requiring long-term care, with more people being able to stay at home as a result of receiving the care they need, closer to home. If a patient does require additional support this is provided in community healthcare settings with a clear focus on admission avoidance.

Dr David Crichton, GP and Chair of Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It is great to see Doncaster’s Rapid Response service receiving national recognition.

“Responding to falls and injuries in this way, particularly for older people makes total sense. It not only ensures that a quick and timely assessment can be done by a qualified health and care professional to determine the care they need, it also ensures that where possible, people can receive the care they need at home, at the same time, maximising their independence. It’s a great example of partnership working at its best.”

Jo McDonough, Doncaster Care Group Director at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Rapid Response Service is a perfect example of partnership working at its best to benefit the people of Doncaster.

“I am very pleased that it has received this national recognition and wish them every success.”

Debbie John-Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Communities at Doncaster Council said: “We are really proud of what has been achieved in Doncaster. This is a great example of partnership working to improve outcomes for patients and members of the public.

“The innovative design and implementation of a single coordinated Rapid Response service has resulted in less people needing long term care and reduced journeys by ambulance to emergency departments following a 999 call when someone has fallen.”

The Rapid Response service in Doncaster was also referenced as an example of best practice at the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019.

The HSJ Value Awards ceremony takes place in Manchester on Thursday 23 May 2019.