A new service designed to help keep people out of hospital has started in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Health staff at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust already respond quickly to people who have had a fall at home.
Working closely with West Midlands Ambulance Service, the staff teams respond to calls from ambulance crews. Where paramedics believe the patient doesn’t need to go to hospital, they can call in the community team instead.
The scheme with West Midlands Ambulance Service has succeeded in diverting more than 170 people who might otherwise have been admitted to hospital and, since December, around 90% of all patients have been referred for this care.
Now similar links have been built with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire’s (UHCW) accident and emergency (A&E) department and teams are hoping for similar impressive results from the link with UHCW.
Carol Peckham, General Manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said: “We know we can do more to join up NHS services, and that is exactly what this project is about. We are all working together to reduce the number of people attending accident and emergency and being admitted to inpatient care.
“We are aiming to do more of this work in the future, identifying groups of patients who perhaps need additional help to keep them out of hospital, and making sure our services are set up so we can provide the help they need.”
The team of community nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals respond within minutes, arranging an appointment in the patient’s own home, to help them avoid a costly and often upsetting stay in hospital.
The scheme ensures the patient gets urgent medical attention, is made comfortable and safe, and then the community team visit to arrange appropriate ongoing care for them until they can become more independent.
From this week, staff in A&E at UHCW will be able to do the same.
Dr Ed Hartley, A&E consultant, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, said: "We're really pleased to be a part of this project, as it is literally helping people back on their feet.
"When a frail or elderly person has a fall at home, people often think the best place for them is A&E, however, while we're able to provide any urgent medical attention they need, they could often receive more appropriate follow-up care in their own homes rather than being admitted to hospital. This is exactly what this project offers.
"I am proud of the cross-sector team involved in this initiative. We have created a safe, patient-centred and easy-to-use service which provides comprehensive care to a fallen older person, and has demonstrated a real reduction in acute admissions during a time of sustained pressure on our Emergency Department."