New trial brings geriatric specialist input into RACFs

As part of the Ageing Well Initiative a small-scale trial has recently commenced, which enables GPs in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) to refer to a geriatrician for advice and assessment.

The Ageing Well Initiative aims to improve the health outcomes for older people, aged 75 years and older and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older, residing or receiving health services in The Prince Charles Hospital catchment including Chermside and surrounding suburbs.

The Specialist Input in Residential Aged Care Facilities model commenced in mid-October with Estia Health in Albany Creek working with geriatricians from The Prince Charles Hospital.

Currently if residents in an RACF require specialist input for proactive long term management, they must present to outpatients at The Prince Charles Hospital.

This becomes a long and exhausting day for residents and their family and is often resource intensive and logistically challenging for the RACF.

Clinicians recognise that one size doesn’t fit all when managing older and often complex patients in residential facilities.

GPs and geriatricians also recognise the importance of providing care in the resident’s home environment enabling a true understanding of their current needs and level of function and independence.

The Specialist Input in RACFs model for older people in residential care was developed collaboratively with GPs, geriatricians, RACFs and older people—ensuring the patient is at the centre of the care provided.

Jill Robertson, Executive Director of Estia Health, Albany Creek said the trial respects the right of the individual to access quality, individualised care.

“The real individual can be seen when in their own comfortable environment and care strategies can then be individualised to that person,” said Ms Robertson.

The trial will initially run for six months utilising a continuous quality improvement approach. For more information or to get involved contact Bridgette Chapman, Ageing Well Initiative Project Manager on 07 3630 7362 or contact@healthalliance.org.au.