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Dedicated team nominated for national award

A multi-agency team which is helping to prevent more than 600 admissions to Ipswich Hospital every month by making sure patients receive the right treatment in their own homes has been shortlisted for a national award.

REACT, which stands for ‘Reactive Emergency Assessment Community Team’, has been named as a finalist in the ‘community or primary care service redesign’ category of the 2019 Health Service Journal awards. It comes after figures showed the team was helping avoid an average of 616 hospital admissions and 472 emergency department (ED) attendances every month.

REACT was set up in January 2018 and brings together hospital and community-based staff from East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Family Carers and the British Red Cross. More recently, it has expanded to include Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s dementia intensive support team.

The team of staff from the NHS, social care and voluntary sector work 24/7 to carry out comprehensive home assessment when a patient has reached crisis point before putting the right care in place to prevent an admission to hospital.

They also assess patients in the hospital’s ED and emergency assessment unit and provide appropriate support to allow them to be discharged, wherever possible. 

Rebecca Walker, REACT service lead with ESNEFT, said: “We are delighted that our dedicated team has been shortlisted for this fantastic award. They work tirelessly across organisational boundaries every single day to ensure our patients receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

“I could not be prouder of the way the whole team has come together, placing the patient at the centre of everything they do and working across organisations to provide collaborative, high quality care.”

Hannah Lord-Vince, senior transformation lead for integrated care with NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, which worked with ESNEFT to develop the service, said: “Over the past five years we have completely transformed admission avoidance services for Ipswich and east Suffolk by developing a fully integrated community-based admission avoidance hub. 

“This has been achieved through true partnership working with organisations in the East Suffolk Alliance to achieve our vision of moving care closer to home. REACT is fast becoming an example of best practice as the team continues to share its model of care with regional, national and global audiences.”

The team will find out if they have won the award at a ceremony in London on 6 November.

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