Based at the St George Hospital, the GFS is a rapid response outreach service to the St George Area residential aged care facilities (RACFs) – operating 7 days a week.
As one of the specialising Geriatricians within the GFS team, Dr De will be speaking later this month, and for the first time, at the Dementia Care Delivery Summit about the program and it’s impact on the elderly and those living with dementia.
“I am speaking at the Summit to provide an insight into the daily operations of the GFS,” she says.
“I would like to showcase the model of care the GFS team delivers to our aged care residents as an example of how specialist medical and nursing care can be provided to those patients who need it the most.”
The GFS team comprises of one Transitional Nurse Practitioner, two Nurse Practitioners, and two Geriatricians – including Dr De – and works to see GFS clinicians accept referrals directly from staff and General Practitioners (GPs) from RACFs for any resident who has had an acute clinical deterioration.
“Depending on the clinical urgency of the situation, we are able to assess the patient within the hour of referral, generally the aim is to assess the patient at the RACF within 2-3 hours of referral,” Dr De explains.
“We then develop a plan of management tailored to the patient and their circumstances in conjunction with their GP and relatives.
“A secondary aim is to reduce the need for hospital admissions and providing specialist medical care in the most ideal setting for the patient – their ‘home’ environment within the residential aged care facilities.”
If and when patients in the area do require admission into either the St George or private hospitals, both GFS Geriatricians have admitting rights, allowing them to facilitate and bypass the Emergency Department.
The GFS team also has close ties with local area Community Palliative Care Team, the Older Adults Mental Health service and the SGH medical/surgical teams; which Dr De says gives the GFS team the ability to “bring the ‘hospital’ expertise to the aged care patient”.
While not yet having spoken at the Dementia Care Delivery Summit, Dr De and the GFS team have presented widely within the South East Sydney Local Health District at various educational and scientific meetings in the last three years. Most recently was the inaugural GFS Education Forum.
“I am very much looking forward to my presentation and also meeting and networking with other industry professionals,” Dr De says.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to capture a captive audience who are willing to share and learn from each others’ experiences; I would encourage interested parties to attend [the Summit] and learn as much as possible from the excellent program provided.
“I hope the delegates will take away from my presentation, and others, information that they can apply within their own areas in order to improve the care offered to individuals living with dementia.”
The Dementia Care Delivery Summit will be held in conjunction with the Australia’s Future of Aged Care Summit from 29-31 August as part of the Akolade Aged Care Forum for 2017.
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