Ageing Well. Peoples Experience of using Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust’s, Rapid Response service

An overview of patients care whilst accessing the Ageing Well services and how they felt about the experience.
Elderly lady washing vegetables at a sink

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust asked Healthwatch Wokingham, Healthwatch Reading and Healthwatch West Berkshire to conduct service user research about its Ageing Well services; The results will be reviewed by Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust in order to evaluate what is working well, and areas of improvement.

Urgent Community Response aims to prevent unplanned hospital admissions by sending a team to people’s usual place of residence within 2 hours of a referral for a crisis such as a fall, injury, or deterioration in health or within 2 days as part of a ‘reablement’ response. 


Commend staff on care and treatment

It is clear that Urgent Community Response service users highly value the people who care for them. Staff should be recognised accordingly and encouraged to continue providing individualised, responsive care.

Address equipment issues or provide alternative plans in the interim

In some circumstances lack of appropriate equipment could mean that someone is not able to remain at home or needs increased care, reducing their independence.

Supply chain issues and fitting delays should be addressed where possible. If there is a delay, then a plan should be put in place with the service user and carers involvement. This should include how they can safely move around the home, toileting, and hygiene/ washing.

Provide a written plan for future care and ensure understanding

This plan should include the names and job roles of those who visited the patient. This will be helpful if patients or family members or carers need to follow up with the service for any reason. 

Services that enable patients by giving them information to help keep them informed and involved in their own care.

Service users were often confused about future care and did not know the most appropriate person to contact. A written plan including further appointments and management of the condition/ issue alongside contact details for the Urgent Community Response team should be provided.  

Ensure that staff refer to the service by the same name to avoid confusion

We found that people called the service a variety of names. Using one name will help service users, carers and health professionals to understand who they have seen and set expectations for treatment. While distinctions between names of services may seem irrelevant to patients, this made it difficult for Healthwatch Wokingham to identify which line of enquiry to pursue during interviews.


To read our full report including key findings, recommendations and service provider response download below.

Ageing Well Report

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