A pioneering service is to open its doors for the first time next week.
The Rapid Access Care Unit (RACU), within the Townlands Memorial Hospital in Henley-on-Thames, is set to open on Monday 23 January 2017.
The RACU is a consultant and GP-led service which will enable patients to be quickly assessed, treated, and receive rehabilitation support, without having to be admitted to hospital.
The RACU will support patients aged 18 and over who have been referred to its service by health professionals in the area. The health needs of the local area mean it is likely the majority of people helped by the RACU will be over 65. Patients will be referred to the unit by health professionals from across the region.
All staff trained in dementia awareness
Dr Alison Espley, Associate Specialist, and Dr Victoria Britton, a locum consultant will lead a multi-disciplinary team of specialised health and social care professionals such as nurses, community nurses, physiotherapy and occupational therapy practitioners, social care coordinators, hospital and mental health staff. It will be managed by Clinical Nurse Lead Kirsty Blee. All staff working at the RACU will be trained in dementia awareness.
Clinical Lead Kirsty Blee said: “The RACU will make shorter, same day treatments available locally for patients who will be able to benefit from expert clinical professional care and support, helping to avoid a stay in hospital away from home in a hospital away from family and friends.
“It is often the case that frail, older people have more than one long term condition, which may include dementia, and need to stay in hospital because their overall health or a specific condition has worsened.
“The opening of the RACU in Henley will provide patients with a facility to access the care and support they need closer to home while maintaining their independence, staying as active as they can and continuing to enjoy their life with family and friends.”
Roger Dickinson, Chair of the Townlands Stakeholder Reference Group, linked to Oxfordshire CCG, said: “We are pleased to see the RACU will be opening to patients next week. We have worked closely with the NHS to support this work. We hope the new service will provide excellent care for people in Henley who require medical intervention to get better and avoid them having to be admitted to hospital.”