A new state government scheme will provide additional health services and beds to keep people out of crowded hospital emergency departments.
The Hospital Avoidance and Supported Discharge Service will allow for more people with complex needs to avoid unnecessary visits to the ED. It will provide multidisciplinary care to people who have not had their needs met by GPs, Priority Care Centres (PCCs) or SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) paramedics in patients’ homes.
That includes those with restricted mobility, bariatric conditions, aged care residents and the homeless.
The new service will operate with three rapid assessment bays, with additional procedure and treatment rooms, and be supported with face-to-face and telehealth consultations and access to ultrasound, basic X-rays and point of care testing.
It will be run by the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) in partnership with the SAAS.
Patients will either be referred or transported by the SAAS.
SAAS chief executive officer David Place said the Sefton Park care centre would provide better support to patients.
“For many of these patients, a hospital emergency department is often not the most appropriate option,” he said.
“This service will ensure that we can direct patients to receive the right care in the right place.”
Health Minister Stephen Wade said it was the first service of its type in South Australia.
“By diverting a patient away from hospital towards a more appropriate care option, this new service will help reduce demand on our emergency departments which will benefit patients and our hospitals,” he said.
CALHN divisional director of integrated care Lisa Bartholomaeus said the organisation took pride in providing the highest quality care for its patients.
“Without this service, these patients would inevitably be transported to a hospital emergency department, which isn’t always the best option,” she said.
The Hospital Avoidance and Supported Discharge Service will run seven days a week from 8.30am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 11am to 5pm on weekends.
Originally published as How SA is easing pressure on hospitals