Rapid response team sets new standards

Tuesday 26 June 2012


Members of the team with a client

A community admission avoidance project that unusually includes social workers is setting new standards by speeding up delivery of care to vulnerable people in Lambeth and Southwark, and helping them stay out of hospital.

Since joining the Lambeth service in February 2012, the team’s social workers have helped more than 40 people get extra support in their homes after a hospital stay. This includes help with washing, dressing and preparing meals. The Southwark service has shown similar positive results.

Unlike other rapid response projects in London, the team includes three social workers who work collaboratively with nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and support workers. This means that patients are assessed and responded to immediately without the need for referral to local social services.

Cathy Sutton, Clinical Manager for the Lambeth Supported Discharge and Rapid Response Team says: “By having a social worker in the team, the patient's social care needs can be met straight away. This frees up our therapy and nursing staff to concentrate on supporting patients to become as independent as possible through our rehabilitation programmes.”

Marcia Davis, a social worker with the project says: “Some patients are ready to go home after a stay in hospital but may be worried about how they will manage on their own. By working together we can provide a quick response which benefits clients who need extra help as they recuperate at home.”

Since launching in December 2011, the community enhanced rapid response project has helped over 300 patients across Southwark and Lambeth. 

The service provides support for up to six weeks to help people remain in their own homes and prevent hospital admission, or to return home sooner after a brief hospital stay.

Referrals can be made by any health or social care professional involved in the patient's care. Patients can be seen by the service within two hours of referral if needed.

Last updated: June 2012

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