Better Care

Rapid response keeps Loretta out of hospital

When Loretta Farrell felt a sharp pain in her thigh, she assumed it was nothing that could not be cured with a little rest at home.

But two days later, the pain had become worse and so she went to see her GP.

“I was out walking the dog when I felt this sharp pain running through my thigh,” said the 78-year-old, of Stechford.

“I got home and put my feet up but, after a couple of days, it had got worse. The pain was unbearable and my leg kept throbbing.

“So I went to see my GP and they told me to go home and wait for the community rapid response service.

Loretta Farrell and rapid response nurse Rae Keye

“Obviously, I was a bit worried but pleased that he hadn’t told me to go to hospital. So I went home and waited.”

Loretta had been referred to a BCHC team made up of senior nurses qualified to make advanced clinical assessments in patients’ homes in order to prevent unnecessary admissions to acute hospital.

Following a quick telephone referral from a GP or other healthcare professional, assessment, diagnosis and prescription of medicine and/or treatment will take place within two hours for patients who need an urgent health intervention that can be provided safely in their own home.

Rapid response nurse Rae Keye said: “I picked up the GP’s referral following a call to our single point of access. Fortunately, Mrs Farrell doesn’t live far from our team base and so I was there within 30 minutes or so.

“It was a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) referral, quite simple to treat, and so she was relieved when I told her we could treat her at home and she didn’t need to be admitted to hospital.

“Patients always tell me they prefer being in their own home so I love that part of my job – being able to care for people like Loretta is very rewarding.”

“Rae was absolutely brilliant,” said Loretta. “She was so kind and explained everything to me so I felt at ease.

“I think rapid response is a fantastic service for Birmingham and the fact that it meant I didn’t need to go into hospital is just great.”

“Thanks to the quick action of the GP and the rapid response team, I’m much better now and back to socialising with my friends and enjoying my garden, which is my pride and joy.”