Looking after the whole patient, not just the injury

Posted on in Services

Frailty ward rounds have been introduced at The James Cook University Hospital to help improve the care of older people following a traumatic injury.

TARN Best Practice Tariff (BPT) now requires all patients aged 65 or over to have a Clinical Frailty Scale completed by an older people’s consultant within 72 hours of admission.

To get ahead of the game the trauma team at James Cook have implemented new ward rounds to see not only patients that are eligible for BPT, but any patient over 65 that has been admitted having sustained a traumatic injury.

The ward rounds, conducted by a consultant for older people and a nurse practitioner, involve review and optimisation of medications, a bone assessment and liaising with therapists to try and identify any underlying signs of osteoporosis.

Preventative treatment and appropriate support can then be put in place to help get patients back home sooner and reduce the chances of them being readmitted at a later date.

“If we can pick up their osteoporosis when they have an ankle fracture, we might prevent a hip fracture in the future,” said Rachel Murdoch, consultant for older people.

This joined up working between consultants in other specialties, consultants for older people and trauma teams has enabled teams to learn a lot from each other.

Sarah Nellis, trauma specialist nurse added: “Providing the frail patient with this little bit of extra contact time can and is making a huge difference to the quality of care provided to this vulnerable group.”