Welcome to the Frailty Assessment Unit (FAU) information page.
FAU is located within accident and emergency department at Russells Hall Hospital. The unit is operational between 7am – 7.30am, seven days a week. The aim of the Frailty Assessment Unit is for patients that are frail and elderly that present to the Emergency Department to be assessed comprehensively by the whole of the multi disciplinary team to perform a comprehensive geriatric assessment. The FAU team comprises of a dedicated geriatric consultant, junior doctors, frailty clinical nurse specialist, registered nurses, higher level support workers, occupational therapist, discharge coordinator, pharmacist and social worker where required. A comprehensive geriatric assessment is completed on every patient that is transferred into FAU- this is NHS gold standard for the management of frailty in older people. CGA has been associated with improved outcomes for people living with frailty, this is a multi-disciplinary assessment that is deigned to evaluate an older persons functional ability, physical health, cognition and socioenvironmental circumstances.
Between 5-10 per cent of all people attending the Emergency Department and 30 per cent of patients in Acute Medical Units are older people living with frailty. Even small challenges such as minor infections or changes in medications can have disproportionate and sometimes catastrophic impacts on individuals living with frailty. People living with frailty may present differently to other patients. The common presenting factors include delirium, falls and reduced mobility – this does not negate the need for urgent review. The process applied in the Frailty Assessment Unit promote a holistic and patient focused view of the whole situation. Patients input in this process and decision making is paramount, frail patients may prioritise outcomes differently to other patients, for example comfort over cure. The model used in the Frailty Assessment Unit promotes same day emergency care and actively promotes and facilitates Patients returning to the safest place of care within the same day, this prevents deconditioning that can also be a huge factor that impends a frail patients recovery.
There are no strict visiting times in FAU and Patients are welcome to be accompanied by a representative. However due to space constraints there must only be 1-2 visitors at any given time. There will be a rapid assessment of the individual and a plan of care commenced immediately- treatment will be delivered rapidly to ensure that all elements of the comprehensive geriatric assessment are completed effectively. There will be input from several members of the multi disciplinary team involved in this process.