Health and Care’s Top 70 Stars

Dr Firdaus Adenwalla and Mrs. Annette Davies

Dr Firdaus and Annette Davies founded the Early Response Team in Neath Port Talbot in 2005.  Annette was a district nursing sister at that time and Dr Adenwalla a consultant physician/geriatrician. The aim was to improve the care provided (especially to the older person) for the adult residents in the Neath Port Talbot area, and by doing so prevent avoidable hospital admissions.   Using the clinical diagnostic skills of a nurse practitioner and the knowledge of a district nursing sister allowed the concept to become a reality in Neath Port Talbot.  They were one of the first teams in Wales to attempt such a challenge and appear to be the most successful to this day. 

 Working together

They have built a team of staff who are cohesive and strong, with a passion of quality care for patients. Working tirelessly against all the odds of austerity, cutbacks and increasing demand/need they have created a model that has led the way in meeting the challenges in intermediate care. 

Starting as a two person team, the team now comprises of a whole time equivalent of 22.5.  The workforce is varied from advanced clinical practitioners, sisters, staff nurses; healthcare support workers and clerical staff. Each person is equally valued for their role and skills they bring to the team. 

Annette leads and manages the service with the support of Dr Adenwalla as they share the vision for innovations and daring to do things differently.  The principles of prudent healthcare are embedded into the service they have created.  This was initially met with scepticism, but now is a beacon that is being mirrored by other areas. They successfully manage a case load of complex often acutely unwell patients – most of them belonging to the older and frail population. 

Caring for each other

They have been successful where others struggle because of their endurance; by learning from their mistakes, not being afraid to make mistakes (calculating the risk), and always putting the patients’ needs first.  They have worked hours, days and weeks over and above their contracted hours to ensure that the patients’ needs are met and to propel the service to where it is today.  They The service is built around patient’s needs, making sure that the service fits around the patient not the patient fitting into the service.

Whilst displaying this passion for high quality patient care they are equally considerate of the needs of the team. They are always approachable, open minded and non-judgmental in how they manage the staff.  They have both gone over and above on many occasions to ensure that staff are supported and are protected from the vulnerability attached with lone working and exposure to the risks attached to the service they provide.


Always improving

Over the past 13 years, they have embraced innovations in technology, the skills of the workforce and opportunities for new ways of working.  They have most recently initiated an electronic patient record that enables staff working out in the field to access patient information as well being in constant touch with senior team members to improve safety for both staff and patient.  They have managed to purchase and are using the latest technological devices to enhance care delivery, e.g. point of care testing for blood testing, and ultrasound scanning to insert midlines in the community.

They are always looking beyond their horizon and two recent initiatives have proved successful to address the original purpose for the team:

  • Money has been secured to purchase two nursing home beds for patients who are too complex to be nursed at home. These beds have been shown to not only prevent a hospital admission, but also provide good quality care for the people who have used them, with the majority returning home safely within a short time frame.
  • Working with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, the team now has access to the ambulance stack and can link directly with the ambulance control officer.  This enables them to take patients from the waiting list for ambulances into the service thereby both preventing an ambulance call out and an acute admission.  This project has achieved Bevan exemplar status.

They have both improved care in the community and reduced hospital admissions. The most recent figures for 2017 demonstrate unscheduled care admissions for people aged 65+ years in Neath Port Talbot have fallen by over 4.5% since 2014.  Prior to these figures the National Information Service for Wales noted a 14% reduction in unscheduled medical admissions for Neath Port Talbot residents (over 75 yrs.) when nationally the admission rate had risen by 7%.

These two individuals have shown exemplary commitment to their belief in being able to provide high quality care that is clinically effective and cost effective by being positive role models for everyone who comes into contact with them.

Amy Buckingham 9 months ago

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

Amy Buckingham 9 months ago

This idea has been moved back to the previous phase

Amy Buckingham 9 months ago

This idea has been advanced to the current phase