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The impact of COVID-19 on the rapid response team: short term assessment rehabilitation and reablement service (STARRS) in England

MOJ Gerontology & Geriatrics
Chua P,1 Kolli V,Devanson R,Radia U,Swart E,Shah N,Beitverda Y,Thum LP,Wang Q,Chua E1

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Background: Rapid Response Services have become commonplace in the assessment and management of the older person at home. However, since the arrival of COVID-19, there have been scarce data regarding how the global pandemic has affected the efficacy and modality of such services.

Aim: We examined data from referrals to the Rapid Response Team (STARRS) during the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in England over the course of one year. We then compared to this to data from the previous year. Weexamined the mode of consultations before referral, hospital avoidance and hospital readmission after 28 days post-discharge.

Results: There was a significant 30% reduction in referrals from A&Ewith increase in GP and LAS referrals such that overall, there was no statistically significant difference in total referral rates. Hospital avoidance and hospital admission at 28 days post-discharge remained unchanged. The most dramatic change was a significant increase in telephone consultations in place of face-to-face consultation before referral to STARRS.

Conclusion: An increase in telephone consultations before being triaged to STARRS is likely to be the new norm; as such STARRS must adapt to ensure governanceon service deliveranceis maintained.


STARRS, pandemic