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Home care cover stepped up in Brighton and Hove over winter
A service which supports people in the community so they don’t need to go into hospital is increasing its capacity to cope with demand this winter.
The expansion of the Brighton and Hovebased community short-term service will mean they can support more patients every day.
This will help ease pressure on the already stretched accident and emergency service at the city’s Royal Sussex County Hospital.
The service is a collaboration between Sussex CommunityNHSTrust, Brighton and Hove City Council, IC24 Ltd, Age UK Brighton and Hove and Victoria Nursing Homes.
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It is made up of roving GPs, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, night sitting service and support staff who can provide rapid assessment for patients at home seven days a week.
Four extra nursing home beds have been made available over the winter period so teams can provide care for the increased number of people who need support.
Community trust head of adult services for Brighton and Hove, Louise Mayer, said: “The cold weather brings with it a host of medical issues, such as fractures, chest infections and viruses that can affect our most vulnerable and elderly patients.
“Our collective aim is to care for our patients at home to prevent inappropriate hospital admissions. This initiative will help us reach and treat more patients in need.
“Without this support many patients would visit A&E. Instead GPs can refer their patients to our community short-term services and we will provide rapid crisis support for up to 72 hours as required.”
Karin Divall, head of adult social care at the city council, said: “We can meet the needs of our patients quickly because we have a team of medical and social care staff with lots of different skills. Instead of multiple visits from different professionals, we work as one team and make sure our patients receive the care best most suited to their needs.”
The team also works closely with South East Coast Ambulance (Secamb) when they are called out to see someone, usually elderly or frail, who has had a fall.
Team manager Veena Lalsing said: “When Secamb is called to a patient who has suffered a non-fracture fall, they immediately notify us.
“Amember of the team urgently responds and visits the patient at home. This avoids the patient having to visit hospital.”
Since the scheme was introduced, the number normally admitted to hospital has halved.
The NHS is urging people to consider alternatives to A&E including the NHS walk-in centre at Brighton Station, out-of-hours GPs and pharmacists.
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