New investment aims to free up hospital beds this winter

October 31 2018

Providers of health and care services in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset are jointly investing an additional £4.3 million into community healthcare.

They aim to prevent people from going into hospital when they can be cared for at home, and to help patients to leave hospital sooner.  

The clinical lead for acute care at the regional Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Lesley Ward, said: ““As a GP, I know that people who no longer need treatment in a hospital recover much better the sooner they are able to get home and receive care in the community.”

 “By helping people to stay out of hospital or to leave, with the right care, once they are fit to go, we will be delivering clinical benefits for patients as well as helping our busy hospitals to manage their bed occupancy rates during periods of high demand.”

After recent changes, when someone is ready to leave hospital, ward staff will be able to complete one referral form which sets out their needs. This will then go to a specialist team, consisting of a social work practitioner, a qualified therapist, and a community health manager, who create a bespoke package of care.

In addition, the BRI and Southmead Hospital will extend the work of REACT, the Rapid Assessment Emergency Care Team, which assesses people when they come to A&E. 

There are plans for a ‘Care Bureau’. GP’s will refer patients and be advised of the community health and care services which are available.   

Jenny Theed, Sirona’s Director of Nursing and Operations and Senior Responsible Officer for the phase one of the Integrated Care Bureau initiative, said:  “It is a ground breaking process as it is transforming systems which have been in place for years, is joining up health and social care providers and together this will hugely improve the experience of patients.”