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New urgent care service for RLI’s Emergency Department

The new Health Early Action team (from left to right): Layla Shah, Jan Fisher, Andy Crundell, Lorraine Evans, Sarah Floyd and Alan Dowswell (Picture Steven Barber)
The new Health Early Action team (from left to right): Layla Shah, Jan Fisher, Andy Crundell, Lorraine Evans, Sarah Floyd and Alan Dowswell (Picture Steven Barber)

[A] new urgent care liaison service has been launched at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) Emergency Department (ED) which supports patients with complex needs.

The Heath Early Action Team (HEAT) is a new team within the RLI that provides an urgent care liaison service to the emergency floor, formed by the merging of the Hospital Alcohol Liaison Service (HALS) and the Frequent Attender Team. The service will support patients who have complex needs, such as alcohol misuse, substance misuse, mental health, health behaviours, social isolation, homelessness and fabricated induced illnesses that contribute to Emergency Department attendance and/or admission to the RLI.

The team can also directly refer suitable patients referrals to community services, depending on their needs, or give advice on how patients can refer themselves outside of the hospital setting.

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As part of the wider Better Care Together strategy, which is a partnership of 11 health and social care organisations working to implement a new clinical strategy across the Morecambe Bay area, we saw how the Hospital Alcohol Liaison Service and the Frequent Attender Team services were similar in many respects.

“By combining the two teams, we have produced a more robust and resilient team that is able to better support patients with multiple and complex needs, not just relating to health but also to well-being.

“This new team will help us to provide a more effective nurse liaison service to our emergency floor at the RLI but also for patients when they leave the hospital. The team now offers longer-term care for patients, by working with the individual to plan their specialist care and support, and assigning them with an active case manager who will continue to look after them when they leave the hospital.

“The merging of the two teams has also allowed us to extend its operating hours to 8am to 7.30pm, seven days a week. This will mean that the team can see more patients within the hospital, and that patients in the community will be able to contact their case manager seven days a week.”

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