Rapid Access Passport 

Lowri Smith

The Project

This project was inspired by my own personal experience as a cardiac patient. All patients arriving at A & E follow the same clinical pathway. For those who have a complex medical history and experience recurrent health crises’ this is often a waste of time and a stressful experience. The idea is to give the patients with a known need for specialist care (i.e. complex cardiac disease, transplants, cystic fibrosis or home ventilation) fast-track access to the specialist that is looking after them: During working hours the patient would present at the hospital door and have a protocolled set of investigations including a measurements of vital signs, an ECG, appropriate blood tests and relevant x-rays. The relevant specialist  (cardiologist , renal physician etc) would then be alerted to the presence of the patient and either attend in person or instruct the generalist of immediate medical needs. Those who present ‘out of hours’ should be referred in the same way to an ‘on call’ specialist e.g. cardiologist.

How this will be achieved

We propose that each patient would be issued (previously) with their own ‘Rapid Access Passport” containing a detailed explanation of what must be done in an emergency situation and when to call for additional advice. This should be issued by the patients’ specialist medical team. In my experience the specialist team may be based at a different hospital or even a different hospital trust. It is important to take into account patients with complex medical care who receive cross-border care. For example my congenital cardiologist is based in Liverpool, my electrophysiologist is based in London but I receive emergency care at Glan Clwyd Hospital. The Rapid Access Passport would need to be tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

Our innovation will involve a systematic approach including a literature review, a survey of patients and focus groups of relevant staff and patients to design and test a prototype of the intervention.

Anticipated benefits

A Rapid Access Passport tailored to each patient’s individual needs, enabling patients rapid and efficient access to their specialist treatment team.