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New hospital team REACT launched
08 January 2018

A new team dedicated to avoiding unnecessary admissions to Ipswich Hospital by making sure patients receive the right treatment to meet their needs in their own homes has launched today.

REACT, which stands for ‘Reactive Emergency Assessment Community Team’,
brings together staff based at the hospital and colleagues working within community healthcare with the aim of improving continuity of care for patients and reducing duplication.

Operating 24/7, they will work together to put the right care in place to prevent an admission to hospital, in turn helping to manage growing demand for health services which is likely to increase further over the winter period.

The team will receive referrals from GPs and ambulance staff for patients who have reached crisis point. They will then carry out a comprehensive assessment in their own home with the aim of preventing them from being admitted to hospital.

They will also assess patients in the hospital’s emergency department and emergency assessment unit before putting appropriate support in place to allow them to be discharged, wherever possible. This includes up to five days of ongoing crisis management support, which will be provided by REACT to ensure continuity and the best possible patient experience.

The project is an examples of initiatives taking place across Suffolk to join up care more closely, support prevention work and tackle rising demand.

Two alliances have been set up to drive this work, which are made up of Ipswich Hospital in the east and West Suffolk Hospital in the west, with Suffolk County Council, Suffolk GP Federation and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust spanning the whole county. These providers are working closely together to place the patient at the centre of care, share good practice and improve quality while making the best use of limited resources.

Dr John Oates, a GP in Saxmundham and integrated care lead for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The older population in Suffolk continues to grow. This means it is vital to ensure patients receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place. Supporting people to remain at home rather than spend unnecessary time in hospital also makes them far more likely to maintain their independence, in turn reducing their reliance on health services in the future.

“REACT will help us to achieve these aims by providing dedicated, 24/7 care across east Suffolk. This means we can better manage demand for health services and empower patients to remain independent at home wherever possible, in turn keeping hospital beds free for those in the greatest clinical need.

“The launch of this new team is another really good example of health and social care services, alongside the voluntary sector, working more closely together and to further improve care for patients and their families.”