The community nursing service covering Whitby and the surrounding area is to be extended to a 24/7 service from today.
Previously services did not operate between 10pm to 8am. Now the service, commissioned by NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG and provided by staff from York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust, will run for 24 hours.
Dr Vicky Pleydell, clinical chief officer at Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, said: 'The benefits for patients of a 24/7 service are very clear. It has been demonstrated that patient care is better with access to services closer to home and overnight. The permanent services development will prove very beneficial to the local population by supporting individuals at home. There will be reduced dependency on hospitals, emergency services and nursing homes.
'There are cases when local doctors have had to send patients into Whitby Hospital due to the lack of overnight cover for patients to be supported in the community. This can now be avoided with the extension of this service, freeing up beds in hospital for people who really do need to be there.
'It also underlines the commitment the CCG has to investing in local services here in the Whitby area, and making sure that wherever appropriate services are provided in people's own communities.'
Wendy Scott, director of community services at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'We welcome the CCG's decision to extend the provision of nursing services in Whitby. It enables the provision of 24/7 nursing care, which for some patients can provide a real alternative to a hospital admission.'
The service provides personalised healthcare programmes for a wide range of conditions and gives appropriate care for individuals, in their own homes for as long as possible.
The services also aims to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital or nursing homes by providing care overnight, as well as facilitating patient discharge for hospital back to their own home.