New Community Rapid Response service launched

A new Rapid Response service has been launched by the Northern Trust.

Rapid Response is a development in community services to provide urgent access, at a GP's request, to nursing and social support to safely manage people in their own home.

The service offers home-based alternatives to acute hospital care in a safe environment aiming to provide the best possible care through the provision of rapid assessment and treatment taking into account the network of family and caring support available to the individual.

Pamela Craig, Deputy Director of Primary and Community Care for Older People’s Services in the Northern Trust commented: “Transforming Your Care is very clear about the need to enhance treatment, care and support closer to home and in the community. The Rapid Response service which has been launched recognises that sometimes elderly people are admitted to hospital unnecessarily from their own homes, including local nursing and residential homes, due to additional medical, nursing and social care support not being immediately available.

The Rapid Response service is a practical example of Transforming Your Care in action. It offers greater choice and allows people to receive treatments and care safely at home. This service will provide a range of benefits including supporting independence and providing people with a choice for their preferred location for care and treatment.

This service will work closely with GPs, and other community services to assess and determine the treatments required to help people stay in their own home.

Dr Brian Hunter, local GP and GP Medical Director for the Northern Trust, said, “The new Rapid Response service will allow a full range of care to be delivered quickly and will also take account of the need for carer support in maintaining people at home. This community based service will reduce admissions to hospital allowing GP’s and community nurses to work closely together in their local community to ensure that no older person has to go to hospital when that is not completely necessary. I believe all GPs will welcome this approach to improving patient care.”

The first phase of the service started on 9th September 13 focusing initially in the Antrim and Ballymena area with a plan to spread this service throughout the whole Northern Trust area in the coming weeks.


Wendy Magowan, Interim Assistant Director Primary and Community Care for Older People's Services; Pamela Craig, Deputy Director Transforming Community Care, Northern Trust and Dr Brian Hunter, local GP and GP Medical Director, Northern Trust pictured with staff from the Rapid Response Service

Page last updated:06 December 2013