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Auckland DHB Rapid Community Access Team (R-CAT)

Public Service, Community


8:00 AM to 8:30 PM.


The R-CAT team is a multidisciplinary team of nursing and allied health. This team provides acute and intensive nursing and/or allied health input to patients over the age of 16 years. It aims to help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions by assisting with the transition from hospital to home or by providing a short period of advanced care for 5-7 days in the community to prevent a hospital admission. The service supports early discharge of patients who do not require further inpatient care to meet their needs. It also provides urgent nursing and/or allied health support for patients with a recent change in health status or functional ability that do not require hospitalisation.

R-CAT may liaise with a range of providers e.g. home-based support services, district nursing, aged residential care, gerontology services, as well as primary care.

Referral is by phone as this allows the referrer to discuss with the team the needs identified. Moving forward, this may develop into e-referrals as well.

Once accepted, the patient will be phoned by the team to facilitate a visit, as soon as possible.

The service may be used alongside Primary Options for Acute Care (POAC) to optimise acute community care and avoid hospital admission.

Patients funded by ACC are eligible for the R-CAT service.

Referrals from the community may be made by general practitioners, urgent care physicians, registered nurses and St John Ambulance staff. 

The criteria for referral to R-CAT are: patients must be over 16 years old, and living in the ADHB area.

R-CAT accept patients who are at risk of hospital admission due to a deterioration in their health status, either through recent illness, injury, fall or sudden change in functional abilities; or patients who are a planned discharge from hospital with an identified need for further short-term acute nursing and/or allied health intervention for resolution and stabilisation.

Exclusions are patients who reside on Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands; and patients whose primary diagnosis is mental health or obstetric/foetal.

R-CAT operates between 08.00 - 20.30, 365 days a year. Phone 0800 631 1234 and ask to speak to the R-CAT team (or leave a voice message with your name and contact number, so we can return your call as soon as possible).

If the patient is accepted onto R-CAT, please advise the patient that the referral was made and accepted, and to expect a phone call from the R-CAT team very soon.

Referral Expectations

How to access the service

The service accepts referrals from Primary Care, Aged Residential Care, St Johns Ambulance and hospital teams.


8:00 AM to 8:30 PM.

Mon – Sun8:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Phone referral is made through a central triage phone. If your call is not answered, please leave a voice message for the R-CAT team, with your name and contact number, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Document Downloads

Contact Details

8:00 AM to 8:30 PM.

This page was last updated at 11:08AM on October 27, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Auckland DHB Rapid Community Access Team (R-CAT).