The purpose of Critical Care Outreach is to support the care of critically ill patients on the ward. Critical illness may be defined as a condition that is both unstable and life threatening – a situation which can be distressing for patients and relatives alike.
At Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, we recognise that critically ill patients require high levels of nursing and medical care. The Outreach Team provides a supportive service, which is founded on a philosophy of respect and empowerment. Individual team members work as part of the ward team, with the needs of patients and staff being central to all they do.
The team consists of critical care nurses who work closely with anaesthetists, physiotherapists, dieticians and nurse specialists.
Our aim is to promote optimum care for the critically ill by offering a service to assist ward staff in:
We are also committed to the teaching of critical care skills at the bedside and offer formal teaching sessions to all staff within the Trust.
Any patient whose condition is causing concern to nursing, medical or physiotherapy staff such as:
Following ward referral, we will discuss the patient’s condition, situation and other relevant factors with the nurses and doctors looking after the patient. We will also discuss concerns about the patient and offer advice. The Outreach team supports the critically ill patient on the ward by:
The Outreach team also visits the ward daily to offer their support and register those patients that the ward nurses or doctors wish to designate as Outreach patients. In addition, we ensure that the site practitioners and the anaesthetic teams on call at night are aware of the condition and location of designated Outreach patients.
Any nurse, health care assistant, doctor, physiotherapist, dietician or clinical nurse specialist who has assessed the patient can refer them for Outreach support.
The professional judgement of the person at the bedside is the most important factor in assessing and identifying critical illness. The nurses and doctors call us to assist them in making that judgement.
Visitors and patients can also request an outreach nurse to see them should they feel that the patient fulfils the relevant criteria.