New specialist services for older patients launched

New specialist services for older patients requiring short hospital stays or specific medical treatment have been introduced by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

The newly opened Frailty Units at Charing Cross and St Mary’s Hospitals provide dedicated bed space for older people requiring a short stay in hospital. A specialist team including doctors, nurses and therapists, help older patients manage new and existing problems such as falls, poor memory, weight loss and mobility problems.

The aim of the Unit is to keep patients as independent as possible. The staff work closely with community service providers to ensure that patients have the right care services at home before being discharged.

The new Charing Cross Hospital Frailty Unit is aligned to the existing Older Persons Rapid Access Clinic (OPRAC). This is where older people who have recently become unwell and have complex problems can be seen in a one-stop-shop; they receive all their tests and specialist care in one day. This prevents patients having to make numerous trips to hospital to have tests and see different specialisms.


Sarah Brice, Consultant Physician and Specialty Lead for Elderly Medicine, at Imperial College NHS Trust, said:

“Older people often have a number of complex medical problems that need to be treated at hospital. The Frailty Units and Rapid Access Clinics provide specialist, multi-disciplinary care that minimises the amount of time elderly people have to spend in hospital while making sure they receive the right treatment.”

Patients can be referred to the Frailty Units and Rapid Access Clinic by their GP, specialist consultant or community nurse. Patients may also be transferred from Accident & Emergency.

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