Please note you cannot make a REACH call to the Clinical Excellence Commission.

If you are worried about a patient in hospital, first talk to your nurse or doctor. If you are still worried, ask to speak to the nurse in charge and request a 'clinical review'. If you are still worried, call your hospital's REACH number. You can find the number on posters or flyers at your hospital.

REACH is not in all hospitals in NSW, but staff are still there to help you.

Patient, Family & Carer Escalation

REACH is a system that helps patients, their family and carer/s escalate their concerns with staff about worrying changes in a patient's condition. It stands for Recognise, Engage, Act, Call, Help is on its way. REACH was developed by the Clinical Excellence Commission in collaboration with local health districts and consumers. It builds on the surf life‐saving analogy for recognition and appropriate care of deteriorating patients by encouraging patients, their families and carer/s to 'put their hands in the air' to signal they need help. This is consistent with the emergency response systems already in use in NSW Health services.

REACH actively promotes partnership between patients, their family and carer/s, and the treating team, in recognising and escalating deterioration. It encourages patients, their family and carer/s to initially engage with their nurse or medical team, if they are concerned that 'something is not right'. If they continue to be worried they can then escalate their concerns by requesting a 'clinical review' knowing that this should occur within 30 minutes.

Finally, if they are still concerned, an independent review or rapid/emergency response can be activated by the patient, family or carer by calling a unique number made available by the facility. REACH casts the safety net wider by empowering consumers to 'speak up for safety' and provides assurance that help is on its way.

REACH aligns with the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights and National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (version 2), in particular standard 2 (Partnering with Consumers) and standard 8 (Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration). Action 8.7 requires that "the health service organisation has processes for patients, carers or families to directly escalate care."

Implementing REACH

The REACH Toolkit was updated in May 2017 and provides clinicians and health professionals with information and tools to successfully plan, implement and evaluate the REACH program.

Updated R.E.A.C.H. TOOLKIT May 2017

REACH Toolkit

The CEC can provide support for facilities interested in implementing REACH. If you'd like to find out more about how we can support your facility, please contact us.

Download PDF ~671KB

Please note that REACH is a registered trademark of the CEC.