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Response Team Pilots NEWS

26th November 2018

NEWS training helps responders identify acutely ill patients, particularly those who may be deteriorating and need urgent clinical attention.

The Allied Health Science Network (AHSN) has been doing a lot of research about NEWS (National Early Warning Scores) and how it can be used out in the community. Working with them, Medvivo decided to pilot our responders taking patient observations to see how beneficial this is for our service users.

Helen Dunford, Service Lead for the Response Team, commented: “Our responders carry out a significant amount of social care through our Urgent Care @ Home service as well as responding to calls from Telecare service users who may become unwell or fall.

By taking observations, the team will be able to have a more professional and committed conversation with other healthcare professionals should they get a concerning NEWS score or notice dramatic changes in observations. This ensure patients get prompt attention with an earlier clinical intervention, meaning the length of hospital stays may be reduced and the patient is more likely to get back to normal functioning much sooner.”

A Chest Infection Referral

AHSN reported a case where a gentleman had a chest infection. He was seen by a carer, who called a doctor and said they seemed a bit under the weather. They couldn’t get out to see him so it was referred to the Out of Hours service as it was that time of day.

The OOH service went out about three hours later and said the patient had a chest infection and needed to go into hospital. Ambulance transport was booked but because it was booked as a chest infection, the transport was arranged for within 2 hours, which is standard procedure for that nature of call.

The patient’s care was delayed by six hours, by which time when he got into hospital he was really unwell. He used to be completely independent but then ended up with a two week hospital stay and then needed carers twice a day thereon because he became so debilitated.

If the carer had been able to deliver a NEWS score to the doctor, they would have immediately said it was a query sepsis case and transport to hospital would have been arranged straightaway.

The difference being if someone gets the treatment that 6 hours earlier, they can start with the antibiotics course, end up with just a two day hospital stay and get back to normal functioning as soon as possible.

There have already been a couple of examples where the Response Team has used the observations kit to report high NEWS to clinicians for query sepsis cases.

Being able to communicate with clinicians and other healthcare professionals with this common language will make a huge difference to patient care. This further demonstrates our commitment to achieving excellence in the delivery of care.

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