Summary of report content
Healthwatch Waltham Forest conducted an Enter and View visit to the Frailty Unity, including the Admission Avoidance Team (AAT), at Whipps Cross University Hospital on 20th June 2019. The visit was carried out after Healthwatch Waltham Forest was commissioned to deliver an Urgent Care Patient Engagement project through reviewing service users' experiences of Urgent and Emergency Care Services in Waltham Forest and at Whipps Cross Hospital. Feedback was gathered from patients and staff, through observation, interviews and surveys.
The Forest Assessment Unit (FAU) helps frail patients over the age of 65 to have a speedy recovery and avoid a lengthy stay in the hospital. Overall, the Enter and View representatives found the service offered an exemplary level of care to the people who used it. This was reflected in the interviews and observations of interactions between patients and staff and the existing structures and systems in place. They observed care given to patients using a person-centred approach which enabled patients to be actively involved in decisions made about their care. Patients were treated with care and compassion. The service offered a range of activities and support tools to meet the needs and wishes of their patients. This contributed to the patient’s overall improvement in health enabled them to be discharged faster and more efficiently.
Based on their findings, Healthwatch Waltham Forest made four recommendations:
- With the FAU's consent, for Healthwatch Waltham Forest to share the good practice seen in the FAU and reporting back to the commissioners and relevant health and social care forums regarding the outcome of this Enter and View visit.
- For the FAU to review the current IT system with a view to improving system efficiency.
- For senior management to put in place additional support systems to ensure that staff are supported in sustaining the high-quality patient care, and to review the management of the nurses' station area to help manage the first point of contact and ensure communication is managed effectively.
- For the service to explore any possibilities of allowing natural light in to the unit where possible and enabling patient accessibility to the existing hospital garden space.