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Healthcare for Older People services

Outpatient clinics

Outpatient clinics are where you usually attend a specialist consultant led clinic following a referral by your GP on a referral to treatment pathway.

For older people services, specialist clinics may include general geriatrics, parkinson's or falls and may involve a multidisciplinary team such as therapies.

Following your initial appointment you may be:

  • referred for further tests
  • provided with treatment
  • given a follow-up appointment
  • discharged

Please see the outpatients section for more geberal information regarding outpatient appointments:

Older Person's Assessment and Liaison (OPAL)

OPAL is a geriatrician lead, multidisciplinary team, based within the Emergency Department and Acute Assessment areas across our hospitals.

OPAL help older people to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and ensure they receive the right care they need to recover in the most appropriate setting, ideally in their own home.

Older Person's Assessment and Liaison+ (OPAL+)

OPAL+ is an extension of the OPAL service. It is a collaboration between the OPAL team and the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).

WMAS crews who are unsure whether a person needs to be taken to the Emergency Department use telephone and video technology to connect them and their patients to the OPAL teams at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to hold a virtual consultation. This is preventing thousands of unnecessary hospital admissions.

Older Person's Assessment and Decisions (OPAD)

The OPAD unit receives patients primarily from the Emergency Department, OPAL, WMAS or the patient's GP.

This service is available 24 hours a day so that patients receive an assessment in the most appropriate place by the geriatrician team.

OPAD aims to provide an appropriate pathway for older adults as part of the wider management of emergency pathways of care which support appropriate admission or discharge.


Although a home environment is usually the best place for older people to receive care, hospitals are the right place to be when patients have acute medical or surgical needs. Therefore, some older people will need to be admitted to our inpatient wards:

Good Hope Hospital

  • Ward 9
  • Ward 11
  • Ward 12
  • Ward 15

Heartlands Hospital

  • Ward 21
  • Ward 29
  • Ward 30

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

  • East 2A
  • East 2B
  • Edgbaston Ward
  • Harborne Ward
  • West 1

When this happens, we know it is important for older people to keep as active as possible and to encourage this on our wards we have promote the Eat, Drink, Dress, Move campaign.

When your treatment has been completed, it is important that your stay is not delayed for any reason. It is good practice to start planning your discharge as soon as you come into hospital. This means that we:

  • listen to any concerns that you may have at the earliest opportunity
  • assess what your needs are likely to be when you are ready to leave
  • involve relevant staff who can help in meeting those needs
  • give an indication of when you will be ready to leave the hospital
  • make arrangements for equipment or services to be ready when you leave

Please see the inpatients section for more general information regarding inpatient appointments:

Virtual wards

Virtual wards are a safe and efficient alternative to NHS bedded care that is enabled by technology.

Virtual wards support patients who would otherwise be in hospital to receive the acute care, monitoring and support they need in the place they call home. This includes either preventing avoidable admissions into hospital or supporting early discharge out of hospital.

This is a new initiative with work beginning on establishing a frailty virtual ward provided by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Last reviewed: 19 January 2023