Rapid Response Team begins weekend work in ED

7 August 2015
The Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) Rapid Response Team has extended its work hours to help Whanganui Hospital’s Emergency Department patients avoid unnecessary hospitalisations in weekends.  
WDHB allied health manager Louise Allsopp says until recently, a patient deemed to need high levels of support on their return home from ED may have been hospitalised for a day or two until the Rapid Response Team could see them on Monday.
“That was until six weeks ago when the team introduced having an on-duty team member who ED can call in on Saturdays and Sundays to assess and arrange support there and then,” Mrs Allsopp says.
“We have a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers
who assess and put in place the support a person needs while they recover from an illness or injury for which they might otherwise have to be hospitalised.
“Following a nine-week trial last year, interested parties including Rapid Response Team members, ED staff and the patients seen, felt it was working well having Rapid Response working in ED.”
“The team’s work has always been about preventing admissions and ensuring patients can return home safely. When we reviewed the service in 2013, we decided to explore whether it would be beneficial to extend the hours to include weekend coverage.”
Mrs Allsopp says the changes were ratified by the WDHB board who agreed that it made good sense for the team to be available seven days a week.