The Acute Demand Service is all about lightening some of the load on hospital services, GPs, and patients.
Under the leadership of Senior Medical Officer of Acute Demand, Dr Andrew Meads together with SMOs Dr Belinda van Gruting and Dr Martin Gardner, as well as a dedicated nursing and administrative team, Acute Demand supports patients to remain or return to the care of their GP and stay out of hospital and ED.
“We assist GPs with a lot of diagnostic work, including electrocardiogram (ECGs), blood tests or organising radiology,” says Martin. “As long as it potentially keeps someone out of hospital, we can help. For example, we are very happy to see heart failure patients when GPs are scarce of time,” he says.
Along with support and monitoring for heart and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, anticoagulation monitoring and other therapeutic services, such as intravenous (IV) antibiotics, acute demand is preparing to launch an atrial fibrillation pathway as well.
“Patients presenting with atrial fibrillation to the hospital, will receive acute treatment and then be handed over to us for follow up the next day to ensure their heart has returned to normal rhythm. If not, they are then referred for cardioversion. This keeps them out of a hospital bed and saves them having to return to hospital for follow-up monitoring.”
| Acute Demand Service Helps Plumber get back to work
Self-employed plumber, Tom Thompson, is not looking to retire any time soon. At 67, he says he is always got to be doing something, which makes the Acute Demand Service the perfect outpatient solution for him.
Tom has been a patient of Acute Demand twice now. Ongoing health issues mean he is prone to internal infections which require IV antibiotics. On this occasion, Tom was referred to Acute Demand by Christchurch Hospital.
“I am not one for sitting still,” says Tom. “I know the hospital is a good place to be when you are not well, but after I was diagnosed and waiting for treatment, I would rather get out to you guys [Acute Demand] and travel there once a day to get my treatment,” he says.
As well as the ability to get back to work and stay productive, Tom appreciates the friendly approach of the clinical staff at the Acute Demand Service. “The staff are lovely and accommodating. They are telling me what they are doing while they are going through the procedure so it is all very clear and I know I am in good hands.”
Read the full May newsletter here