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Expansion of seven day community service in North Lincs

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The service aims to reduce the number of admission The service aims to reduce the number of hospital admissions

A seven day community service in North Lincolnshire is being expanded to improve treatment in patient's homes.

The Rapid Assessment Time Limited Service (RATL) will see staff responding to the most urgent calls within one hour and preventing hospital admissions where it is safe to do so. Seven additional members of staff are being recruited to the team.

The RATL will provide fast community response 24/7 to mainly elderly or frail people who are in urgent need of care.

The expansion of this service has been funded through the Better Care Fund. The £500,000 a year additional investement is a joint initiative between North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Nothern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG).

The type of patients seen will include those at the end of life, those who have sustained a fall with no obvious injuries and those who are experiencing an acute episode of illness such as chest infections or diarrhoea and vomiting.

Tine Sykes, head of nursing for community services at NLaG, said:'Our team of unscheduled care practitioners and healthcare assistants will be providing an urgent response, caring for people who require care at home, but who do not need a hospital admission.

'Our staff will provide a comprehensive assessment within one hour of receiving the call. This is about ensuring people get the right care, in the right place, from the right people."

Caroline Briggs, director of commissioning at North Lincolnshire CCG said the expansion of the service was about supporting people to continue to live at home for as long as possible.

'Hospital stays can be overwhelming and most people tell us they want to stay in familiar surroundings whenever that's possible, said Mrs Briggs. 'Hospital admissions are necessary at times but this exciting service will enable many more elderly or very poorly people to remain at home or in their usual place of care while they still get the most appropriate treatment.'

Health and social care practitioners, including GPs, ambulance personnel and care homes, will be able to refer to the service via a single point of access. Patients calling 111 may also be directed to the service.

After an assessment by the RATL team patients will either be treated there and then, referred to the relevant community team, referred back to their GP or if necessary admitted to the hospital. The aim of the service is to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.

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