WARRINGTON is set to benefit from a new project to treat older people at home and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

The town is one of seven in the country to share £14 million of NHS cash to create a new rapid Community Response Service.

The scheme, set to launch in February, will work with people in crisis, as a result of either a deterioration in their physical health or social circumstances, where they may be at risk of being hospitalised.

Under the plans, older people and adults with complex care needs who need urgent support will be able to be seen in their own home by skilled professionals within two hours.

This will allow them to receive the treatment they need without being sent to A&E, reducing pressure on hospitals.

For patients who are in hospital, the teams will aim to put in place appropriate care within two days of their doctor saying they are ready to go home.

These measures could include 'reablement' services to help with daily activities such as washing, cooking and dressing, with the aim of restoring independence and confidence after a hospital stay.

To start with, the service will be available weekdays from 8am until 5pm with future plans to make it available in the evenings and weekends.

Cllr Rebecca Knowles, cabinet member for statutory health and adult social care, said: “As people become older and start to live with increasing frailty, it’s often the combined impact of deteriorating physical health and psychological factors, such as isolation or carer breakdown, that lead to a crisis.

“Having an effective Rapid Community Response Service requires a strong partnership of health and social care professionals that supports people to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

Warrington Guardian:

“This additional investment, after our successful bid to become an ‘accelerator site’, is welcomed and will build on existing development work with our partners across the health and social care system to improve patient care and experience. We are committed to improving people’s outcomes, and to ensuring our services are fit for the future.”

Steve Tatham, lead commissioner at NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is fantastic news for Warrington and will allow us to accelerate, and further build upon, our existing whole system Frailty Improvement Programme and approach to improving outcomes for our some of our most vulnerable people.”

Warrington Guardian: Hospital in 'better position' over A&E

The aim is to keep people out of A&E

One of the main reasons for unnecessary delays in being discharged is that it can be unsafe for older people to leave hospital without care and support in place to help them manage.

It means they frequently occupy beds they have no clinical need for while waiting for care to be arranged.

Research by the charity Age UK estimated that bed blocking due to a lack of social care cost the NHS £587 million between the general elections in June 2017 and December 2019.

There were 2.5 million lost bed days over the 917 days between the elections, the charity calculated, with 2,750 people on average kept in hospital after they were well enough to be discharged each day.

READ MORE > Strangers raised £13,000 to pay for dead woman's funeral

And research by the Alzheimer's Society in January found emergency hospital admissions for people with dementia have risen by more than a third in five years, with more than 379,000 emergency admissions in England in 2017-18.

As well as Warrington, other pilot sites are West Yorkshire and Harrogate; Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland; Cornwall; Buckingham, Oxfordshire and Berkshire; South East London; Norfolk and Waveney.