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EOI open for new pilot program targeting frailty

Frailty is a common syndrome which occurs due to a combination of de-conditioning and acute illness on a background of existing functional decline that is often under recognised. Frailty is more common in females and the risk of frailty increases with age.

People with frailty have two to three times the health care utilisation of non-frail people and experience higher morbidity and lower quality of life.

Frailty that can affect up to 25 per cent of patients aged 70 and over. It can increase their risk of falls, prolong hospital stays and cause decline in function. It also increases the likelihood of institutionalisation and death.

However, while frailty is linked with getting older, the two do not have to go hand-in-hand. Effective early intervention can help people stay healthy and active for longer.

Many causes of frailty can be managed and - in some cases - reversed, to create better health outcomes and quality of life. By supporting general practices to identify older people who are living with pre-frailty or frailty, the PHN hopes to better support ageing well and enable people to remain at home longer.

The opportunity

The PHN is launching an early intervention pilot program to identify older people who are pre-frail and frail.

The PHN has worked with subject matter experts to identify a validated frailty screening tool – the FRAIL Scale - that will be used by participating GPs to ensure accuracy, reliability and consistency of the identification of frailty.

The PHN intends to engage 10-20 GPs (with at least one GP per site), to participate in the frailty screening program for 6-9 months.

Financial benefits for participating practices

Up to 20 participating practices will be supported by the PHN with an incentive payment of $10,000 to enable practice staff to attend and participate in a frailty workshop and engage in regular meetings with BMP Consulting.

Participating practices will also receive incentive payments for recording and providing data to the PHN each month.

In addition, participating practices that complete a program evaluation will receive a $2,500 payment.

Professional development benefits for participating practices

Participating practices will work with frailty experts Dr Chris Bollen and Registered Nurse Jane Bollen of BMP Consulting to better understand healthy ageing and frailty identification using the validated FRAIL Scale (see attachment in the top right of this page).

This will enable them to provide better care – in conjunction with other medical and allied health professionals – to patients.

Participating practices will receive incentive payments for recording and providing data to the PHN.

They may also obtain CPD points through analysis of their data and can use it to inform quality improvement activities.

Submit an expression of interest

Practices located within the Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN region are eligible to participate and are invited to submit an Expression of Interest.

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