12:05 Monday 03 February 2014

New rapid response service launched to help elderly residents

Written byJORDAN DAY

An elderly person with a carer. An elderly person with a carer.

A new rapid response service has been launched in Ely to help unwell elderly residents get the help they need - urgently.

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust has launched a year-long community rapid response scheme for patients registered with GP practices in the Ely area and Wisbech.

GPs, paramedics and other medical professionals can contact a senior nurse who will arrange for the most appropriate professional from the multi-disciplinary service to visit their patient at home.

They will then assess them to determine the type of care and support they need to recover – either at home or a short stay in a community hospital.

The multi-disciplinary service includes nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social care managers, a consultant geriatrician, pharmacists, healthcare assistants and others.

Ross Collett, local chief officer for Wisbech and Isle of Ely Local Commissioning Group (LCG), said: “The service aims to ensure that people who are in a crisis situation, but do not need to go to hospital, receive the best care possible in the most appropriate place.

“Most people in this situation are better cared for in their own homes, but need a lot of support from medical and social care staff for this to happen.

“As commissioners of NHS services, it is good to see so many NHS providers working in partnership to support patient’s needs.”

Among those who has already benefited from the new service is 95-year-old Vera Wickham, from Ely.

Vera was referred to the service by her GP after an infected, swollen leg had left her unable to walk and feeling very unwell with a high temperature. Vera also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure and high blood pressure, all of which has an impact on how she is able to cope at home.

But thanks to the service, help is at hand to enable Vera to continue living at home with her husband of 73 years, Len.

The service provides same day assessment for most patients and aims to refer them to other community services within seven days.

For more information about the service, speak to your GP.

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