The Remote Emergency Access Coordination Hub (REACH), a scheme designed to reduce unnecessary hospital visits by using other appropriate care pathways, is to expand to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT).
Based at the Royal London Hospital, REACH has helped over 17,500 patients since its launch in November 2021, with more than 65 percent of people treated virtually or in the community. The trust reports that this has saved up to 6,200 ambulance visits and more than 6,500 unnecessary walk-in patients attending. 91 percent of patients have reported that they felt more involved in their care and would recommend the service to others.
The service is run between Barts Health Hospitals, the London Ambulance Service (LAS), North East London CCG and now BHRUT. It aims to establish appropriate care pathways to increase patient care and reduce unnecessary hospital visits.
Through the service, ambulance crews can call the REACH team directly to get expert clinical advice for the patients they are seeing. Appropriate care pathways have been put in place including virtual consultations, remote prescriptions, appointments in same day emergency care or specialty hot clinics, as well as sending rapid response teams to patients in need.
This specialist service will operate seven days a week, 12 hours a day and will be comprised of staff and emergency medicine consultants via NHS111, enabling patients to receive virtual consultations dependent on their personal medical needs rather than waiting in A&E.
REACH also provides clinical support to community teams and services seeking unscheduled care for their patients, giving patients access to a full range of acute secondary services.
Ms Tiffany Wishart, North East London Sector Senior Clinical Lead at LAS, said: “I am elated that our crews are able to team up remotely with REACH to ensure that our patients get the right care, in the right place first time. The REACH team works collaboratively with our crews to jointly decide on the best care pathway for the patient, the crews are part of the decision-making process and the REACH staff ensure that LAS clinicians are on board and understand the reasoning behind the final disposition. This brings the additional benefit of staff learning from each interaction and building trust, skills and knowledge throughout the whole system.’’