Specialist Advice for Frail Elderly (SAFE)

Specialist Advice for Frail Elderly (SAFE)

Box: 298
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ

Tel: 01223 274752


Opening timesMonday to Sunday 8.00 - 20.00

SAFE Team Service

We are a multidisciplinary team with knowledge and experience in assessment and management of elderly patients.

We provide early specialist assessment for all patients 75 and over at the earliest point in the patient's journey with the majority of patients being reviewed in our emergency department.

We deliver improved and earlier engagement with families, relatives and community services to better streamline communication & information gathering.

We also oversee all patients in the Trust referred for inpatient community rehabilitation.

SAFE Team Background

The service was set up to provide rapid early assessment, and to suggest a management plan (where appropriate) for elderly patients admitted into non-medical elderly wards.

Previously under the title Total Older Person Assessment Service (TOPAS) the team has expanded from our 3 original members to a much larger team to meet the demands of the service.

The intention is to adopt a holistic approach, considering all aspects of the patient’s level of function and social situation, thereby giving the ‘home team’ the benefit of accurate and pertinent information as early in patient’s admission as possible. By doing this we can minimise the number of multiple ward moves for patients 75+ by enabling them to be supported better.

We have also taken on the role of providing a single point of contact for community inpatient rehabilitation services regarding patients referred to them.

Benefits the SAFE Team Provide

  • Dedicated service providing support to medical teams for whom details of elderly care are not everyday issues.
  • Identifies complexities and constraints at outset of admission.
  • Provides early availability of collateral information, especially when patients are demented, delirious or were admitted out of hours with minimal information.
  • Regularly reviews elderly patients who have not been placed in a DME bed, standardising care and monitoring progress.
  • Dedicated link with families and Next of Kin, (permission prevailing) who on occasion feel marginalised and under-informed. Anecdotally this has been found to reduce the number of complaints in this area.
  • Acts as a driver for early assessment in patient’s pathway, thereby driving down length of stay.
  • Raise the profile of elderly care: ready availability of information and collaboration via SAFE has been recognised and acknowledged by specialist teams.
  • Provide a single point of contact for community inpatient rehabilitation services regarding patients that have been referred to them.