The success of the Early Intervention OPAL+ approach was reflected in a recent case which saw a 100-year-old gentleman be able to stay in his own home, which is where he wanted to be, rather than be admitted to hospital.
Dennis lived alone and was supported by daily carers. His daughter, Mrs B, visited him regularly. When he fell poorly in December, she rang 111 for help and was referred to the Solihull Rapid Response Community Team.
Dennis was visited the same day by the team who assessed that he had a possible water or chest infection. As per the OPAL+/community service approach, the community team contacted OPAL+ to agree the best course of care.
Following a multi-disciplinary assessment between the OPAL+ consultancy team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the community team, Dennis and his daughter, it was agreed that he did not need to be taken to hospital. Instead, Dennis would be prescribed antibiotics and cared for by the Community Team over the next few days until he recovered.
Mrs B said: “I am in awe of the way that my dad’s care plan seamlessly unfolded. The collaboration between different teams was amazing. Dad and I were fully involved at every step of the way starting with the assessment and dialogue between the community team and OPAL+ about keeping dad at home through to when the community team were visiting and their thoughts on how he was recovering.
Sanni Aujla, Project Manager for OPAL+ added: “Pre-OPAL+, Dennis would have been admitted to hospital where, especially in Covid times, he may have acquired further infections and definite muscle loss. “I shall be forever grateful to the teams involved, especially nurse Shamin Chughtai.
Shamin was phenomenal in so many ways. It was clear from the way she liaised with us and others in the team that she was ‘on it’ and ‘knew her stuff’. I know that’s not a very technical description but in layman’s terms that just how it felt.”
“The fact that he and I were part of all these discussions made a huge difference. We felt that people were properly listening to us, especially my dad who wanted to stay safe, secure and comfortable in his own home. Above all we were shown great humanity. I wish I could bottle the seamless care and emotional approach we experienced. It would be priceless.
“The arrival of OPAL+ and its aim to help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions has changed that. You can’t beat the feeling of being involved at the front line and preventing somebody from being admitted to hospital when they don’t want or need to be. Patients and their families are always relieved that care can be provided at home where families and friends can be to hand to help speed up recovery.”
Pictured: Dennis and his granddaughter Laura and great grandson, Daniel.