Unscheduled care team

Our unscheduled care team is here to assist patients to remain in their own home or care home, if safe to do so, during an episode of acute illness. The service is staffed by nurses and healthcare assistants who are autonomous practitioners, which means they have the skills set to assess, diagnosis and treat certain medical conditions within their sphere of practice.

We offer a 24-hour service that operates seven days a week. During the hours of 7.15am to 9.15pm autonomous practitioners provide assessment and treatment for certain medical conditions, such as chest infections, urinary tract infections and assessments following a fall. All assessments are carried out in the patient’s usual place of residence and any follow up visits are arranged as necessary depending on the patient’s clinical condition. In some cases this may involve three to four visits each day to monitor closely the patient’s condition and assess their response to treatment. From 9.15pm to 7.15am the service is operated by district nurses and staff nurses who provide the out of hours cover for all district nursing needs such as palliative care patients, wound management and catheter issues.


Referrals to this team are by other healthcare professionals, 111 and the ambulance service.


Some of the staff in the RATL team

Some of the staff in the RATL team

The Rapid Assessment Time Limited Service (RATL) is a round-the-clock hospital avoidance scheme.

Run by the unscheduled care team RATL provides a fast community response, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to mainly elderly or frail people who are in urgent need of care.

Staff respond to the most urgent calls within one hour and prevent hospital admissions where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The type of patients seen include those who have sustained a fall with no obvious injury and those who are experiencing an acute episode of illness such as chest infections, urinary infections or diarrhea and vomiting.


Health and social care practitioners, GPs, ambulance personnel and care homes, can refer to the service via a single point of access. Patients calling 111 may also be referred to the service.

Patient information leaflets