Withybush General Hospital, based in Haverfordwest, provides acute care across Pembrokeshire to a population with high numbers of older people. Hospital admissions have been rising steadily for over a decade and there are often delays in discharging older patients, leading to outliers on medical and surgical wards. This has an adverse effect on patient care and leads to increased length of stay and increased morbidity and mortality.
Withybush joined the Acute Frailty Network in May 2018 (The first Welsh HB to do so) Since then the team has pioneered an ambitious frailty improvement project.
The frailty improvement project was focused on the front door in the Emergency Unit and Acute Clinical Decision Unit (ACDU) as well as ward 12, a 24-bedded acute medical ward specialising in frailty and dementia. The ward comprises 21-26 mixed sex beds. Senior sister on the ward, Lisa Marshall, has completed a Master’s degree in Dementia and Research in Practice and is passionate about advocating improvements in the care of frail patients at Withybush.
We recently introduced the RITA system onto our Ward and this has contributed significantly to the quality of care we are able to give our patients and helps us meet their needs which is not always easy. It is totally inclusive, as we have been able to offer the same stimulation to the patients that maybe isolated in a side ward and cannot come into the Day Room and also our End of Life patients. It has also supported the work of our Patient Experience Lead – Danielle, who was brought on as a result of COVID-19 to help occupy our patients during lock down. Danielle says “It helps stimulate and brighten the day for our patients. I cannot fault it, it’s a magical resource”.