Boost in home care to cut hospital stays
NEW teams of experts are being created to bring more treatment into people's homes and avoid the need for a hospital stay.
The move comes as numbers of patients needing a bed at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire soared by more than 400 to 2,519 in August, leading to it missing Government targets on A&E waits.
Bosses criticised schemes in the community for not doing enough to reduce demand for hospital care.
They said the area was more hospital-reliant than other places which had fewer than North Staffordshire's 300 community hospital beds – and those districts consequently had more cash to treat people at home.
Now the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust, which runs community services, has introduced integrated teams of health, social care and mental health specialists.
By next April there will be 13 of them operating across North Staffordshire to treat people at home and help maintain and support greater independence.
Deputy chief executive, Geraint Griffiths, said: "Patients tell us they would like to be better supported at home and avoid going into hospital if possible.
"We are working with commissioners to provide more integrated care and support and help people to stay independent and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
"In partnership with UHNS, a new system is also in operation to help us better identify which patients can be best cared for at home or in the community to avoid going into the acute hospital."