Helping keep people away from hospital

Liz Brown,Social Care Worker.'110926M-A816
Liz Brown,Social Care Worker.'110926M-A816

THINK home, not hospital.

That’s the message of a new scheme being piloted in Buckingham and the surrounding villages, which aims to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.

The idea is to have a full-time social care worker based on patch, who can respond quickly to requests for social care support and where necessary fast-track necessary services to prevent a possible crisis.

All three doctors’ surgeries in town support the scheme, and Liz Brown is already based at Verney Close Surgery.

If a GP, district nurse or other health professional is concerned a patient is not coping well at home, they refer the patient to Liz, who will visit them to assess their need and eligibility for extra help, if possible with a family member present.

“If it’s urgent, I’ll go out the same day, or the next day,” said Liz. “The quicker we can go out, the quicker I can get access to those services that person may need to prevent that hospital admission.”

“Obviously, we need the GP’s judgment the person is safe to stay at home and doesn’t need medical attention.”

Where necessary, services such as carer visits and meals on wheels can be fast-tracked for the same day or the next day.

She can also organise day care for social stimulation and respite for carers to prevent a crisis.

The scheme has been running in Buckingham since February.

“From the people I’ve come into contact with, it’s been well supported,” said Liz.

“A high percentage of people want to remain at home where possible.”

To refer somebody to Liz, contact your GP or district nurse.