Welcome to Ipswich Hospital
Our Passion, Your Care
Emergency Therapy team increases its hours
Team set to help even more patients to get home quickly
30 March 2017

Our specialist admission avoidance therapy team which ensures the right support is in place to allow older patients to return home from hospital more quickly is extending its hours after helping more than 7,000 patients within just 12 months.

The Emergency Therapy Team (ETT) will offer an extended service from 8am to 8pm on 365 days a year from Saturday (1 April). Its aim is to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions while helping to successfully discharge those who have received care and are clinically fit to go home.

The therapy team is one of only a handful nationally to offer extended hours, and has recruited additional staff to help provide the service.

The ETT is made up of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and therapy assistant practitioners, and works across the Emergency Department (ED), Brantham Assessment Unit, Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) and the Frailty Assessment Base (FAB).

Team members will assess patients promptly after they arrive at hospital and provide any therapy they may need or arrange specialist equipment, such as walking aids, to allow them to return home as soon as they are clinically fit, in turn avoiding an admission to the wards. If a patient does need ongoing hospital care, the team will make sure they go to the right ward to best meet their needs.

The ETT can also refer patients onto colleagues in the Crisis Action Team (CAT), which works within the community and will meet any short-term care and therapy needs the patient may have after discharge, such as providing additional home support or help with domestic activities and ongoing therapy interventions.

The expansion comes after figures show the therapy team completed 7,213 patient assessments between October 2015 and September 2016. Of these:

  • an admission was avoided in 79% of cases referred to the team from ED, the fracture clinic and Brantham Assessment Unit;
  • 93% of FAB patients seen by the team avoided an admission; and
  • 19% of patients seen by the team in the EAU were assessed and discharged the same day.

Hannah Lord-Vince, advanced occupational therapist and team lead, said: “The ETT has been a great success since its launch in 2010, and is helping patients to return home more quickly every single week. We are delighted that we will become one of the first hospitals in the country to offer extended hours when the service expands on 1 April, which means we will be able to help even more people to avoid a hospital admission.

“Our aim is to make sure that people coming in the front door see the appropriate professionals as quickly as possible so that we can try and stop them from being admitted to the wards wherever clinically appropriate. This is because research shows us that frail, elderly patients with a longer length of stay find it much more difficult to regain their independence afterwards.

“By extending our hours, we will be able to assess patients into the evenings and across the whole weekend. This means that people arriving at hospital later in the afternoon will now receive therapy input more quickly when previously they may have had to wait until the next day to see a specialist.”