A seven day community service in North Lincolnshire is being expanded so people can receive treatment and recover in their own homes rather than being admitted to hospital.
The Rapid Assessment Time Limited Service (RATL) will provide a fast community response, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, to mainly elderly or frail people who are in urgent need of care.
The service is an expansion of the existing unscheduled care team and will see staff responding to the most urgent calls within one hour and preventing hospital admissions where it is safe to do so. Seven additional members of staff are being recruited to the team.
Many health problems which might have resulted in an A&E attendance or admission to hospital can be treated successfully in a patient’s own home or care home if they and their carers have the right level of support and advice.
Funded through the Better Care Fund, the £500,000 a year additional investment is a joint initiative between North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG).
Health and social care practitioners, including GPs, ambulance personnel and care homes, will be able to refer to the service via a single point of access. Patients calling 111 may also be directed to the service.
The type of patients seen will include patients at the end of life, those who have sustained a fall with no obvious injury and those who are experiencing an acute episode of illness such as chest infections, urinary infections or diarrheoa and vomiting.
The service aims to reduce unnecessary stays in hospital by ensuring people who can be cared for in the community safely will be treated in their own homes or by community teams instead of on a ward.
Tina Sykes, head of nursing for community services at NLaG said: “Our team of unscheduled care practitioners and healthcare assistants will be providing an urgent response, caring for people who require care at home, but who do not need a hospital admission.
“Our staff will provide a comprehensive assessment within one hour of receiving the call. This is about ensuring people get the right care, in the right place, from the right people.”
Caroline Briggs, director of commissioning at North Lincolnshire CCG said the expansion of the service was about supporting people to continue to live in the place they call home for as long as possible.
“Hospital stays can be overwhelming and most people tell us they want to stay in familiar surroundings whenever that’s possible,” said Mrs Briggs. “Hospital admissions are necessary at times but this exciting service will enable many more elderly or very poorly people to remain at home or in their usual place of care while they still get the most appropriate treatment.”
After an assessment by the RATL team patients will either be treated there and then, referred to the relevant community team, referred back to their GP or if necessary admitted to the hospital.
Notes to Editors:
Healthy Lives, Healthy Futures is a major programme of change which aims to deliver better and more efficient health and wellbeing services to people living in Northern Lincolnshire. This is led by North and North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), working in partnership with local health and care providers and both councils.
With the public’s help, we want to plan and design quality, responsive and innovative services that will support local people to live their lives to the fullest, manage periods of ill health and remain in their own homes living as independently as possible.
It’s no secret that finances are extremely tight and the NHS is unlikely to ever again receive the amount of money it really needs to do everything it would like.
If we are to continue to provide the very high quality of support that people living in North and North East Lincolnshire deserve in a way that’s sustainable then we need to be able to do things differently and we need to do this soon.
Our aim is to look at how we can develop an improved health and wellbeing system that can continue to deliver safe, quality and affordable services that are built around people, for years to come.
Keep up to date with Healthy Lives, Healthy Futures at http://www.healthyliveshealthyfutures.nhs.uk/ or follow us on Twitter @HLHF_NHS.