The Geriatric Flying Squad (GFS) is our Team Innovation winner in the 2018 HESTA Aged Care Awards
A multidisciplinary team of medical, nursing and allied health professionals, the GFS assesses and treats patients in their homes and residential aged care facilities.
The GFS partnered with the NSW Ambulance to design and implement a referral pathway, providing paramedics with an alternative destination for patient treatment and care.
As a result, patients meeting the appropriate referral criteria are referred by the paramedics to the GFS, thereby avoiding an emergency department presentation.
"Older people are too frequently forgotten or disadvantaged by an increasingly complex health care system," says team member and Clinical Nurse Consultant Diane Gellatly.
"The GFS team prides itself on being innovative, resourceful and having a “can do” attitude where no challenge is too great. Our reward comes from optimising an older person’s potential, who might otherwise end up in our emergency departments or residential care unnecessarily.
"We are passionate, highly experienced and skilled clinicians who love working with older people and are supported by an organisation that fosters excellence."
Extending the impact
Following on from this successful collaboration with NSW Ambulance, a similar pathway has been set up with NSW Police (Botany Bay Police Area Command). The model demonstratesthe benefit of healthcare services working collaboratively and forming partnerships with other key stakeholders to ensure optimal patient and community outcomes.
The partnerships also result in improved use of local health and emergency services resources.
GFS plans to use their $10,000 prize money from ME - the bank for you - to raise awareness of the service and referral pathways by publishing the project in an industry journal; develop a “how to tool” for other services; and develop educational tools for NSW Ambulance Service and police on recognising frail, vulnerable people, to ensure equitable and appropriate access to help through emergency services.