Hillingdon Rapid Response Service provides a single point of contact for adult patients experiencing a health crisis who could be safely cared for in the community instead of being admitted to hospital.

It is one of a range of intermediate care services which provide nursing, therapies and rehabilitation in community settings for adults.

The team consists of nurses with advanced skills, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, healthcare assistants trained in phlebotomy and administrators. 

The multi-disciplinary team assesses and initiates services in order to support the patient, within two hours of referral. They work closely with the patient’s general practitioner (GP), district nurses and other community health, social and voluntary services to identity the most appropriate and safe package of care.

The types of conditions or situation that might require a rapid response might include:

  • Falls without apparent injuries
  • Urinary tract infection, respiratory tract infection, cellulitis
  • Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Carer has become incapacitated or there is an emergent change in carer situation (the major carer is unavailable)
  • Dehydration
  • Unstable diabetes
  • Patients at end of life
  • Elderly frail patients who have become symptomatic and are at risk of admission

This is not an exhaustive list; please contact the Rapid Response Service to discuss any potentially appropriate patient.

The service is not suitable for:

  • Patients not registered with GPs in Hillingdon or who are registered with GPs who do not have a commissioning arrangement with CNWL.
  • Patients who require a social care assessment/package where the only need identified is a social care need which would be better addressed by a direct referral to duty social services.
  • Patients who are resident over two miles from the Hillingdon border.
  • Patients with a known psychiatric diagnosis whose needs are better met by a specialist mental health service.

This is not an exhaustive list; please contact the Rapid Response Service to discuss any potentially appropriate patient.

The community phlebotomy service will see patients:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Willing to receive the service
  • Registered with a Hillingdon GP
  • Housebound in their own home
  • Living within the boundary or less than two miles over the boundary
  • Not on the district nursing caseload
  • Not requiring urgent same-day bloods, only routine bloods

Rapid Response Service

The service accepts new referrals from healthcare professionals only. All referrals should be made by telephoning  01895 633546 

A detailed referral document will be completed by the call handler or advanced assessment nurse to ensure that the patient is appropriate for the service.

Referrals from The Hillingdon Hospital A&E and Observation Ward: A Rapid Response Service senior clinician is present in The Hillingdon Hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department between 9am and 5pm every day and reviews appropriate patients to help avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital. A senior A&E clinician from the hospital (sister, charge nurse or registrar) may refer patients to the Rapid Response duty nurse by phoning 01895 633546 outside these hours.

Community Intravenous (IV) Service

The Rapid Response Service offers community IV antibiotic therapy in conjunction with Hillingdon Hospital. Patients are medically reviewed in the Emergency Admissions Unit “hot clinic” and referred to the service for antibiotic treatment. The patient will return to the “hot clinic” every three days for medical review.

Community Phlebotomy Service

Referrers should fax blood request forms to 01895 625268.

The service is available as follows:

9am to 12.30am every day, for assessment
8am to 9pm every day, for provision of care (assistance with activities of daily living)

Bus: U1, U10

Train: Chiltern Railway

Tube: Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines

If you need help in a crisis, please do the following

  • Contact the CNWL service looking after you during their office hours
  • If the crisis is during when your service is closed, there are alternative options provided by the NHS found on this page.
  • If you are not already being looked after by CNWL or elsewhere within the NHS, see your GP during normal working hours as they can then refer you to a local service.

Find your closest GP on NHS Choices.