Skip to main content

Acute Frailty Network

Our award-winning, Acute Frailty Network (AFN) aims to support older people living with frailty to get home sooner and safer from acute hospital. The 12 month improvement programme is a professional network, which can support your hospital site to rapidly adopt best practice to improve emergency services for frail older people.

Request support today

Positive outcomes

We’ve worked with 144 hospitals to overhaul how older people are cared for. Internationally, based on this work, structural changes have been made in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada and Ireland too. The programme has already led to positive outcomes, with hospitals in the network reporting improvements such as:

Reduced admissions

38% reduction in admissions

Shorter hospital stays

54% reduction in the length of hospital stay for patients

Cost savings

£30.5 million – the predicted total saving through bed costs for all participating sites combined

Round Filled2 Design1 Round Line2

What does the programme include?


Support to design, test and implement new models of urgent care for frail older people

Best practice

A repository of best practice from successful sites, so you can learn from others across the network


Tools and methodologies to support local implementation

AFN toolkit

Guidance on how to implement better models of care that reduce admissions and improve outcomes for older people.

Did you know?

Graphic of two chat bubbles. One has 3 stars in it; the other has lines indicating text.

Over 90%

of participating sites rated the programme as excellent or good

Graphic of two hands shaking with a tick in the background

Over 80%

of sites reported improved partnership working

An image showing 2 hands with a circular graphic inbetween them. The graphic contains a + symbol.

Almost 70%

more sites now identify frail patients than before


“Thank you for the support not just today but over the last year. It has been very rewarding given all the improvements and growth in the frailty team at SFH. There was really good engagement from the team, Simon was extremely helpful. This process did bring the team together. Just the correct involvement from the AFN with no pressure”
Testimonial icon
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS FT (Cohort 7)
“Our experience with AFN has been superb, the timing of our participation was really helpful, having done 3 years of development then bringing our issues and ideas for AFN to further develop. Working on 10 principles, having site support, measurement masterclass, hearing from other exemplar sites to be inspired and share ideas.”
Testimonial icon
North Middlesex University Hospital (Cohort 8)
“Provided a good support and focus – enabled momentum over the year. Helped overcome stumbling blocks. Peer support and learning from other organisations”
Testimonial icon
Manchester (Cohort 6)
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Made a massive improvement in super stranded patients (patients staying over 21 days). As part of the year with AFN they released 15 bed days per week.

United Lincoln, Pilgrim Hospital

Huge improvement in their super stranded patients by halving the weekly number from 40 to 20.

Image of a lady looking at a laptop screen

Case studies

Read about some of the hospital sites we've worked with, including some of the challenges addressed, what approach we used and outcomes seen as part of their improvement journey.

Take a look at our case studies >

Why work with us

The programme is delivered by an experienced team of clinicians, operational managers and improvement leaders and is made up of national collaborative events, masterclasses, site visits, webinars and on-site individual support for participating teams. Find out more about the Improvement Network team >

Get in touch

We would like to hear more about your needs. To arrange a call with one of our team, please email Deborah Thompson, Managing Director.

Contact us