Dorset launches new nurse-led hospital clinic for older patients

University Hospitals Dorset NHS FT has launched a nurse-led hospital clinic aiming to help older patients avoid an overnight stay in hospital.

The trust has launched its ‘Rapid Access Consultant Evaluation (RACE)’ clinic, a same-day emergency clinic for older people.

The clinic means older patients can access a comprehensive assessment including access to diagnostics and treatment on the same day, hoping to avoid the need for an inpatient stay in hospital.

Led by a team of advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), with consultant geriatrician support. The team accept patient referrals directly from both the emergency department and GPs for older patients with a variety of medical complaints and often complex conditions.

The clinic has recently undergone significant investment and expansion – almost doubling in size to provide four bespoke examination rooms – and was officially opened on Monday (29 March).

Dr Freyja Brown, clinical lead, said the clinic has helped shape elderly care beyond Poole Hospital. Dr Brown said: “When the clinic first opened, dedicated same-day care for frail patients wasn’t widespread across the NHS as it is now.

“As demand for this kind of care for older people has increased, so the RACE clinic has tried to keep pace, and others have been able to learn from its success.

“It is fantastic to see the clinic move from strength to strength to become what we have today – a purpose-built nurse-led clinic offering comprehensive multidisciplinary care to patients.

“The ANPs who deliver this service are rightly proud of it, and that’s a feeling shared by the wider team too.”