State-first service delivering more care options for patients

To help patients with complex needs avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency department, the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) runs Hospital Avoidance and Supported Discharge Service, run in partnership with the SA Ambulance Service (SAAS).

The service, which opened in June 2020, helps take pressure off the State’s acute health system and deliver more care options for patients.

It’s first service of its type in South Australia and provides rapid multidisciplinary care to people who are unable to have their needs met in mainstream services including those with restricted mobility, bariatric conditions and residents of aged care facilities, as well as people experiencing homelessness.

The service operates three rapid assessment bays, with additional procedure and treatment rooms. It is supported by speciality face to face and telehealth consultations as well as access to ultrasound, basic X-rays and point of care testing. At present it can see up to 20 patients per day.

CALHN Divisional Director of Integrated Care, Lisa Bartholomaeus, said the service provides a new multidisciplinary option for patients whose care needs cannot be rapidly accommodated by GPs, Priority Care Centres (PCCs) or by SAAS Paramedics in the patient’s home.

“We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care for our consumers with early consumer feedback supporting development of the service,” Ms Bartholomaeus said.

“Without this service, these patients would inevitably be transported to a hospital emergency department, which isn’t always the best option.”

SAAS Chief Executive Officer, David Place, said the Sefton Park care centre provides better support to patients, preventing unnecessary hospital presentations when suitable.

“We are proud to be partnering with CALHN to provide this new model of care for patients with complex needs,” Mr Place said.

“For many of these patients, a hospital emergency department is often not the most appropriate option, so this service will ensure that we can direct patients to receive the right care in the right place.”

The service is open to SAAS seven days a week including public holidays. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30am – 8pm and on weekends from 11am – 5pm.