Rapid response case study

Wiltshire Medical Services (WMS), part of the Medvivo Group was awarded a contract in 2010 to provide a Single Point of Access (SPA) in conjunction with a county wide GP out of hours service in Wiltshire.

In November 2013, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group commissioned MiHomecare, a lead provider of Wiltshire Council’s ‘Help To Live At Home’ service, to provide skilled care workers within a set timeframe of the initial referral to WMS, to support people in their own home once they were assessed and able to continue remaining in their own home following the crisis.

This Rapid Response service was developed to coordinate care delivery for professionals and to include access to:

  • Assessments within one hour for patients needing urgent interventions and care who can remain at home
  • Rapid response services and urgent equipment to avoid hospital admission
  • Community bed-based services, where appropriate, including STARR (Step To Active Recovery and Return) beds
  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Community-based therapy services
  • Liaison with the patient’s GP to manage clinical care at home

Evidence suggests that a rapid (1 hour) health and social care response to support people at home at a time of crisis will prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, reduce the need for STARR beds and long-term care placements.

Partnership working

MiHomecare identified care workers who had all round skills and knowledge and scheduled them on a 12 hour rota basis. They covered all areas in Wiltshire and were part of WMS’ Rapid Response team working alongside allied health professionals, clinicians and nurses. 

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and aims to treat and support people in their own home, reducing the need for people to be admitted unnecessarily to hospital or nursing /residential home. The care workers supported the person in their own home for up to 72 hours following intervention, until more traditional services could take over.


From the service commencement date on the 4th November 2013 to the end of April 2014, the service has received 324 referrals and 251 patients were supported and remained in their home following the intervention of the rapid response team. 30 hospital discharges were also facilitated.

The average cost of an emergency hospital admission is £4000 and this service has now made significant savings for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and reduced delayed discharges from hospital.

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