Teaming up for more comprehensive care: case study of the Geriatric flying squad and emergency responders (Ambulance, Police, Fire and Rescue)
Article publication date: 22 September 2021
Issue publication date: 9 December 2021
The purpose of this paper is to describe the development, implementation and initial evaluation of the Geriatric Flying Squad's reciprocal referral pathways with emergency responders including New South Wales Ambulance, Police and Fire and Rescue. These innovative pathways and model of care were developed to improve access to multidisciplinary services for vulnerable community dwelling frail older people with the intent of improving health and quality of life outcomes by providing an alternative to hospital admission.
This is a case study describing the review of the Geriatric Flying Squad's referral database and quality improvement initiative to streamline referrals amongst the various emergency responders in the local health district. The implementation and initial evaluation of the project through online survey are further described.
Sustainable cross-sector collaboration can be achieved through building reciprocal pathways between an existing rapid response geriatric outreach service and emergency responders including Ambulance, Police, Fire and Rescue. Historically, emergency services would have transferred this group to the emergency department. These pathways exemplify person-centred care, underpinned by a multidisciplinary, rapid response team, providing an alternative referral pathway for first responders, with the aim of improving whole of health outcomes for frail older people.
Enablers of these pathways include a single point of contact for agencies, extended hours to support referral pathways, education to increase capacity and awareness, comprehensive and timely comprehensive assessment and ongoing case management where required and contemporaneous cross-sector collaboration to meet the medical and psychosocial needs of the client.
The Geriatric Flying Squad reciprocal pathways are a unique model of care with a multi-agency approach to addressing frail older people's whole of health needs.
The authors would like to thank the following people: Claire Walker - (Formerly) Co-ordinator, Primary & Community Care, Clinical Systems Integration, NSW Ambulance; Maria Flood - Senior Constable/Aged Crime Prevention Officer- Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command, NSW Police; Darrin Laing - Inspector/Duty Officer (Formerly Botany Bay Police Area Command), NSW Police. Trent Lawrence - Superintendent, Zone Commander, Fire & Rescue NSW; Michael Morris - Chief Superintendent, Community, Safety & Research, Fire & Rescue NSW. Andrew Walker - Station Commander, Fire & Rescue NSW; Central Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network (funding after-hours component GFS); Dr Cathleen Taylor-Rubin, Uniting War Memorial Hospital (survey and data analysis advice).
Elias, L., Maiden, G., Manger, J. and Reyes, P. (2021), "Teaming up for more comprehensive care: case study of the Geriatric flying squad and emergency responders (Ambulance, Police, Fire and Rescue)", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 377-389. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-05-2021-0025
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