Early warning system that helps care home staff catch serious illnesses early rolled out across south west London 

Judging whether a resident is just ‘under the weather’ or at risk of more serious illness can be a tough decision for care home staff to make. 

That is where RESTORE2 comes in – an early warning system that helps them identify whether someone is at risk of becoming very unwell and needs urgent assessment and medical attention. 

RESTORE2 is a tool that helps staff recognise and manage physical deterioration to improve outcomes for residents, reduce the number of unnecessary 999 calls and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.  

It works on the principles of ‘right care, right place, right time’ and helps care homes: 

  • Recognise when a resident may be deteriorating or at risk of physical deterioration 
  • Act appropriately according to the resident’s care plan to protect and manage the resident 
  • Obtain a complete set of physical observations to inform escalation and conversations with health professionals 
  • Speak with the most appropriate health professional in a timely way to get the right support 
  • Provide a concise escalation history to health professionals to support their professional decision making. 

The NHS in south west London has been working hard in collaboration with care homes to roll the system out – extremely successfully. 

Since it was first introduced in November 2020, staff at 332 homes have been trained to use the new system – 95% of all those registered with the Care Quality Commission.  

The training has helped improve staff’s knowledge and confidence – and ultimately the care of their residents – with early evaluation suggesting almost nine in 10 reporting a better understanding of the first signs of a decline in a resident’s health. 

Daniel Roberts, Registered Manager of Maple House in Sutton, said: “I cannot stress enough how important it has been in our home to implement RESTORE2, having the peace of mind for our residents, family and friends alike that we can confidently and promptly identify early warning signs of health deterioration. 

“Being able to easily identify and signpost using the escalation pathway is very reassuring to everyone. It provides a clear pathway and instils confidence in our team to be able to deal with health concerns and raise the concerns promptly and effortlessly to a health professional.” 

Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam, local GP and Merton’s lead GP said: “If I have learned one thing in the care of unwell people during Covid, it is that we in the family of the NHS, must speak to each other in one universal language regardless of who we are and where we work.  

“During busy times we had to keep things simple and practical. The need of the hour was basic and meaningful observations and trigger points for escalation. I am pleased that our care home staff have embraced RESTORE2 training with open arms.  

“This training will enable all clinicians to detect deterioration early and determine the next step based not solely on the numbers but on the individualised care plan and context of each person we care for.  

“Families and friends who entrust some of the most vulnerable people in our hands will be reassured that this training helps us to combine the science of recording and monitoring observations along with the art of personalised decision making based on circumstances and previous discussions.”