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Introduction The local rapid response service at Croydon Health Services accepts referrals from multiple different sources including local GPs, hospital professionals, London ambulance service and the local rapid access geriatric clinics as part of reducing un-necessary hospital admissions. The majority of the people referred have complex medical and geriatric needs and the thorough assessment and integration with other community services that the rapid response team provides is essential for the successful community management of these patients.
Methods Data were collected contemporaneously, as part of the referral process to the Rapid Response Team. Data collected included referral source, reason for referral and outcome of the review. Information from December 2014 to March 2015 was reviewed.
Results Over a four month period, the rapid response team saw 543 patients, with 95% of these seen within 2 hours.
The majority of patients were referred by a GPs (59% - 39% from usual GP, 20% from out of hours GP). Hospital referrals accounted for 9% of referrals. Directed referrals from the ambulance service accounted for 11% of referrals.
Falls and reduced mobility accounted for the largest number of referrals (28%). Catheter related problems accounted for 21% of referrals. Chest infection represented 8.3% of referrals. Carer stress was cited as the reason for referral in 4.5% of referrals.
Conclusions The Rapid Response Team reviews a large number of patients, who, in the absence of such a service would have required A&E attendance or admissions. The rapid review allows patients to be reviewed by a clinician in their own home, often far quicker than they would have been seen if attending A&E. Further work is required to explore the clinical differences in patients attending A&E, and those patients who are able to remain at home with support from the Rapid Response Team.