Celebrating Tewkesbury CATU Anniversary

March 11, 2024

Our Community Assessment and Treatment Unit (CATU) held a Tea Party on Monday (11 March) to mark two years since they first opened its doors at Tewkesbury Hospital on Monday 14 February, 2022.

Over the past two years, it has provided assessment and treatment for people referred by Rapid Response, SWAST, Homeward Assessment Team at GRH and CGH and local GPs, for patients whose needs can be met in a less acute environment. The benefits for the patient are preventing acute admissions and reducing the length of stay.

The CATU aims to complete a comprehensive MDT assessment and begin treatment, before determining the appropriate onward pathway within 10 days of admission. Ideally this is to return patients to their usual place of residence with or without support, however, it may be to step down to one of our community hospital beds for ongoing medical nursing care and rehab. Fundamentally, avoiding long waits in ED and acute admissions for vulnerable, frail patients.

Catu cropFollowing a six-month ‘Test and Learn’ pilot, funded by the Winter Schemes, the decision was made to make the Unit permanent (as business as usual) in August 2022.

As CATU Trainee ACP Sally Russell explains, they have developed the service over the past two years: “We have extended our referral route into CATU to include SWAST, the Heart Failure Team, the Palliative Care Team and the Virtual Ward.

“Our ward staff have upskilled, now all trained staff are competent in venepuncture and cannulation and many HCAs are skilled in venepuncture.

“Also, all of our Band 6 and several of our Band 5 staff have completed the in-house Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning Course, providing them with the skills to assess a deteriorating patient and to take appropriate action.”

Colleagues joined the CATU team to celebrate with a cake baked and decorated by multi-talented Sally.Resized1

Sally added:

“The whole team on Abbey View Ward, where CATU is based, are proud of how far we have come over the past two years. We have all grown as a team both professionally and personally. We are delighted to have made a success of CATU, and like any new service, it is work in progress and CATU is continually evolving.

“We are constantly reviewing our statistics and altering our processes to enhance our service. Looking forward I would like to see more Community Assessment and Treatment Units in Gloucestershire to enable patients to be treated closer to home and to reduce the number of hospital transfers”.

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