Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust runs The Royal Sussex County Hospital’s RACOP (Rapid Access Clinic for Older People) which was created to improve the care of patients requiring urgent assessment and treatment but not necessarily admission into hospital.
RACOP aims to deliver excellent care for older people in Brighton and Hove and where appropriate, reduce secondary care admissions. RACOP provides urgent ‘one-stop’ assessments of elderly patients reaching crisis point in the community.
Supported by a multidisciplinary team, RACOP delivers comprehensive geriatric assessments (CGA). The objective is to build RACOP as a long-term service that will support both the community services and the acute trust. Also, if an elderly person attends a RACOP appointment they will receive a more complete assessment during one longer visit to the Hospital, instead of asking them to return over and over again for a series of shorter assessments and investigations.
Only GP, Community Nurses or Hospital Consultants can refer individuals to RACOP, though there might be a wait for the test as they are prioritised in order of need. When the day arrives, your relative’s appointment may take up to an hour depending on how complex their needs are.
During the test, a nurse will check your relative’s blood pressure, pulse, temperature, weight and blood sugar levels. Blood tests might also be performed, depending on your relative’s needs, and possibly even a ‘heart trace’. The patient will then have a meeting with the doctor who will establish whether they need any other tests and where possible will arranged for the same day.
It is also important to note that patient can bring anyone to the appointment with them, so you do have the option to accompany your relative.
These tests should give the doctors a much clearer idea of your parent’s health needs and can start putting a health plan in place. Before your relative goes home they will be talked through the doctor’s findings. RACOP will inform their GP and pharmacy if any changes need to be made to their healthcare. The RACOP team will let you know if any follow-up appointments need to be made to see any specialists or to receive any test results.
In some cases, the appointment can lead to a short stay in hospital for further tests or treatments if the RACOP team deem it to be in the patient’s best interests. If this happens they will usually be admitted straight away.
For more information, please contact:
RAPID ACCESS CLINIC FOR OLDER PEOPLE
Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton, BN2 5BE
Telephone: 01273 523045 Fax: 01273 523046
Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 08:30 – 16:30