EARLIER this year, Knowsley Council launched a new service to support residents to remain in their own homes or return home from hospital without delay.
The service provides a quick response to residents who have health and social care needs. By working during the night and at weekends the team has moved away from the more traditional 9am to 5pm service offer.
In just three months, the service has prevented 18 residents from being admitted to hospital and supported a further 28 discharges from hospital which has reduced their length of stay.
Knowsley is the only local authority in the Liverpool City Region to offer this service and Whiston Hospital has commented on the notable improvements they have seen in hospital discharges thanks to the 24/7 response team.
Diane Stafford, Assistant Director of Operations, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Once patients are medically well, it is important that we arrange their safe discharge from hospital to the most appropriate setting, and ensure the required support is in place. Some people do not have extended family around to help them, and extra support in the community can help us to safely discharge patients in a timely manner, or even prevent their admission in the first instance.
The 24/7 response service provides very practical support. It is a great example of how a local authority can think differently and work with us to tackle shared issues and improve outcomes for Knowsley residents.”
The service operates seven days a week and works with the council’s Emergency Duty Team and Urgent Response teams, ensuring support is available when residents need it.
Support includes providing personal care for residents with palliative care needs throughout the night, pending any formal care package being arranged, and arranging transport for residents who are returning home from hospital.
Other examples of support include residents who attend Accident and Emergency, but do not require medical treatment. The team will arrange for the person to be transported home where health and social care needs are then assessed and support arranged if it is required.
The service is also planning to develop further by linking with other partners, including North West Ambulance Service, housing and primary care.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said “This is a great example of how we are working better together to support our residents who may not need to be admitted to hospital or a residential nursing facility. Our 24/7 response service is already having a positive impact, by ensuring the best possible care is provided in the person’s own home. We are well aware of the pressure on the NHS and the Accident and Emergency Department at Whiston and are pleased that we are able to support a reduction in demand.”