The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Frailty Unit launches at St James's Hospital

15 December 2017

A new Frailty Unit has opened at St James’s Hospital providing dedicated care for older people who come into hospital.

This is a partnership between Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust ,Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group and Leeds City Council.

A multi-disciplinary team work on the unit, providing medical and holistic care for patients over the age of 80, or from 65 if they have particular frailty needs.

Emergency Departments can be really busy and noisy with lots going on. This can be really difficult for our older patients while they are waiting, particularly if they are frail and may have dementia. The Frailty Unit is set away from the main ED, so it’s a lot quieter and a much better environment for our older patients to be while they’re being assessed.

When a patient is admitted to the unit they are quickly assessed by a specialist team, including a Consultant Geriatrician, Nurses, Advanced Practitioners and Allied Health Professionals. This means that treatment and any packages of care can begin sooner and, in many cases, patients are able to go home the same day.

The Frailty Unit formally opened at St James’s in November, following a successful pilot earlier this year, and is already showing some fantastic results. Since opening the unit has seen 146 patients and reported a discharge rate of 63% of patients able to go home the same day. This has saved an estimated 184 bed days through admission avoidance. 

Jamie Coulson, Health Correspondent from BBC Look North, came to the unit to find out more about the work the team are doing to manage bed capacity in the hospital and improve the experience for our patients. 

You can watch the piece here - Frailty Unit on BBC Look North  (at 10 minutes)