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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 7 February 2018

Frailty Flying Squad is RUH winner

A pioneering specialist team of doctors, nurse practitioners and therapists at the Royal United Hospital Bath has been honoured for its work in helping older patients to avoid being admitted to hospital.

The Frailty Flying Squad works in the RUH Emergency Department and Medical Assessment Unit and identifies older patients who, with some intensive assessment and treatment, have the opportunity to return to the community rather than being admitted to hospital.

The Squad was voted Team of the Year, for demonstrating outstanding leadership and dedication, at the Trust's 2017 New Year's Honours Awards ceremony, held at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.

Consultant Geriatrician Genevieve Robson said: "It's recognised that sometimes hospital is not the best place to be for an older frail patient. Bed-rest can lead to loss of strength and a deterioration in health, while going home quickly to a safety net of family support can actually be much better.

"Most patients would choose to stay at home if they could, instead of being admitted to a ward. Our project has been very successful for them and for the hospital. We're thrilled to receive the award, and proud that the work is really being of benefit to patients."

The key is early senior assessment and treatment combined with timely discussions with families, carers and other community support services. About a third of patients who would otherwise be admitted are discharged within 24 hours, while overall length of stay has reduced.

The Squad's pioneering initiative has also been recognised by the National Emergency Improvement Team (ECIP) which has meant that it is now hosting other teams to share best practice.

The local Sustainable & Transformation Partnership (STP) has also submitted a proposal for national funding support to implement the model across the BaNES and Wiltshire area.

The Frailty Flying Squad was just one of the Trust teams and individuals recognised for their work in 2017 at the awards ceremony.

Brian Stables, Chairman of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Our annual awards ceremony was a fantastic evening – it's the perfect opportunity to recognise staff for their achievements of the past year. As ever the standard of nominations was extremely high and it was an honour to be at the event to hear the success, dedication and commitment of individuals and teams.

"Nominations for these awards are put forward by the staff and the finalists were shortlisted because of their dedication and professionalism to their patients.

"I'm incredibly proud of all the hard-working people we have at the RUH, who strive to be the best and are committed to the people they support every day." You can watch the Frailty Flying Squad here:

Other winners were:

  • 2017 Personal Achievement Award – Scott Dukes, Healthcare Support Worker, Phillip Yeoman Ward; Matthew Earwaker, Healthcare Assistant, Haygarth Ward; Joana Machado, Nuclear Medicine Technologist; Andrew Scales, Physiotherapist
  • Volunteer of the Year Award – Sharon Burge, Cancer Support Centre
  • Outstanding Student of the Year Award – Kate Fry
  • Research and Development Award – Obstetric and Gynaecology Research Team
  • Most Innovative Team of the Year – Respiratory Sleep Service
  • Chief Executive's Customer Care Awards:
    Ron Streete, Cleaner
    David Quinn, Core Trainee, Anaesthesia
    Michelle Chambers, Cleaner
    Radiotherapy, Radiotherapy Physics and Radiotherapy MEMS
    Rebecca Winterson, Consultant Paediatrician
    Teresa Gardner, Junior Sister
    Sharon Devine-King, Junior Sister
    Jodie Cox, Trainee Nurse Associate
    Di Dorrington, Matron, Maternity
    Mary Mead, Maternity Care Assistant
    John Hughes, Senior Operating Department Physician
    Ruben Yap, Junior Charge Nurse
    Simon Evans, Consultant Urologist and Clinical Lead
    Helen Hazell, Uro-Oncology Nurse Specialist
    Jaspal Phull, Consultant Urologist
    Terry Carver, Cleaner
  • 2017 Chief Executive's Customer Care of the Year Award – John Hughes, Senior Operating Department Practitioner
  • Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Award – Clare Edmonds – Lead for Paediatric Sepsis

Notes to Editor:

  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome/ME.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is now working towards building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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