The Rapid Assessment Care Unit (RACU), at the Townlands Memorial Hospital is now open and caring for patients.
GPs in the town and surrounding villages can refer unwell patients of all ages to the RACU to be quickly assessed, treated and given rehabilitation support, without having to be admitted to hospital.
Among the first patients at the RACU was Olive Cummins who was delighted with the friendly, helpful service she received. She said: “The service is absolutely top class. When you have any queries you only have to ask and they are answered. I would recommend this service to anyone.”
The consultant and GP led service provided at the RACU makes shorter, next day treatments available locally, via their GP, for adult patients. They can get expert clinical professional care and support, helping to avoid a stay in hospital away from home, family and friends.
Eleven beds for NHS patients are also located in the Chilterns Court Care Centre next door to the hospital. Four beds are allocated for suitable RACU patients with medical support from the RACU, while the other seven are for patients who need a further period of recovery or rehabilitation before going home or to a permanent home when they no longer need acute hospital care. Medical cover is provided by the Bell and Hart Surgeries in Henley and the GP out of hours service. The beds, however, are used flexibly.
Kirsty Blee, clinical lead for RACU from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We hold ourselves to the high standards which patients and families expect and we’ve already had some really positive feedback. “We’re just a few weeks in and I can genuinely say it’s been really rewarding working in the RACU. It makes the team’s day when people tell us how we’ve been able to help and that they’d recommend our service.
“We choose to work in this innovative new service to help and care for people, and the RACU means we are part of providing genuinely holistic care that enables people to stay as well as they can so they do not need to be admitted to hospital.”
Roger Dickinson, Chairman of the Townlands Stakeholder Reference Group, said: “The opening of the RACU in Henley is providing patients with an additional facility to access the care and support they need closer to home. It means they are getting rapid attention without the waiting and travel associated with visits to hospital.”