Home' Southern Health News : March 2016 Contents Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN)
Clinical Director of Rehabilitation and Aged Care,
Associate Professor Craig Whitehead said there
had been a strong focus on supporting older people
in the south and planning with families about
accommodation options after their hospital stay.
"At any particular time there can be many patients
in hospital who have received the treatment they
need and are medically appropriate to leave,"
Associate Professor Whitehead said.
"Ensuring these patients are able to leave hospital
as soon as it is appropriate is a shared priority for
the patients, their families and the hospitals they
are being treated in.
"At SALHN we have focussed on our 'long stay'
patients, those who spend 14 days or more in
hospital, to try and identify the reasons why some
of these patients are spending long periods in
"In November 2015, we had more than 100
patients at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) with
a length of stay greater than 14 days and this is
now around 70 patients, many of whom are no
longer receiving acute medical care.
"This improvement is a result of the initiatives we
have put in place and the hard work of our staff."
Another significant improvement by SALHN
is the reduction in time for older patients to
receive an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
assessment. The ACAT assessments determine a
patients' eligibility to enter a residential aged care
facility. The delay in ACAT assessments occurring
has historically taken days, if not weeks. There
are about 100 assessments per month across
FMC, Repatriation General Hospital (RGH) and
"The time taken for an Aged Care Assessment
Team (ACAT) assessment to be provided has
reduced from up to eight days in 2014/15 to
two days for 70 per cent of patients," Associate
Professor Whitehead said.
"We have also reduced the time a patient spends
in hospital between the ACAT assessment and
discharge into a residential aged care facility by
30 per cent, from 36 days at the end of 2014 to
24 days at the end of 2015.
"This means that hospital stays are shorter for
patients and they can return to a home-like
environment much sooner, which is a better
outcome for the patient and the hospital."
Chris Beall, whose 94-year-old mother Marie
received an ACAT assessment at RGH within four
working days, said the fast assessment meant his
mother spent less time in hospital and was able
to settle in at a residential aged care facility in
"Mum was cared for at the Repat for about six
weeks, after a stroke earlier this year," Chris said.
Patients and families benefit
from improvements in the south
Improvements in patient care in the south have led to a 30 per cent reduction
in patients who spend longer than 14 days in hospital, ensuring patients get the
care they need and get home to their families sooner.
"She's been very independent her whole life and
living on her own up until she had a stroke, so it
was very important to the whole family that she
had her own space as quickly as possible.
"Her new home provides her with complete
privacy, it's safe and we're at ease knowing
she will continue to recover with the creature
comforts only a home provides."
Due to the success of the existing strategies
and in preparation for new strategies, a clinical
reconfiguration program is being implemented
across Noarlunga Hospital and Flinders Medical
Centre until June 2016.
The reconfiguration will see several services being
relocated across and within Noarlunga Hospital
and Flinders Medical Centre. The reconfiguration
will include building works to provide more single
rooms and purpose built areas at Flinders Medical
Centre which will further improve patient care
and support patient flow.
SALHN is also planning to increase the amount
of day surgery and day procedures to replace
inpatient care where safe and appropriate, as
well as introducing a specialist medical team at
GP Plus Super Clinic Noarlunga. The specialist
team will provide rapid review of patients to
implement care plans and reduce the need
for Emergency Department presentations and
Chris Beall with his mother Marie
who has recently settled in at
Resthaven in Mitcham.
8 / MARCH 2016 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
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