01278 228004

Chamber News

You are here: 

Pilot scheme puts social care in A&E

Tuesday 5th November, 2019

A pioneering pilot scheme to help ease the pressures on NHS resources this winter is being spearheaded by Somerset County Council and local NHS partners.

Starting in the next few months, the trial will see the authority base a social worker in the A&E departments at the county’s two major hospitals – Musgrove Park in Taunton and Yeovil Hospital.   The pilot initiative will run through the winter so that social care expertise is immediately available in A&E when needed.

Some of the people who go to A&E don’t need urgent medical care but go there because they are not sure where else to turn in a crisis. Some of these cases could be better dealt with by social care, and the Social Worker presence will help A&E staff get a better understanding of the support that social care may be able to offer.

The Council is also looking to trial having a social worker based at the South Western Ambulance Service control centre to see if this too can relieve some of the winter pressures. People sometimes call 999 for an ambulance when a social care or mental health response would be more appropriate

“The winter period is always a busy time one for our hospitals and A&E in particular,” said Councillor David Huxtable, Cabinet member for Adult Services.

“As health and social care work closer and closer together, we’re always looking for ways in which we can help people get the right support as quickly as possible.We think that a social care presence in Somerset’s A&E could give people the right support and advice immediately, as well as freeing up capacity for health staff to deal with the urgent admissions.”

Dr Ed Ford, Chair of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Minehead GP, said: “It is fantastic to see health and care services working more closely together to support patients to get the help they need when they need it. We firmly believe that in many cases the best bed is your own bed.  This initiative will not only improve patient experience and care but also support more people to return home as quickly as possible. It will make a real difference for both patients and staff.”

The initiative builds on two projects already up and running in Somerset – Rapid Response and Home First – where the County Council and the NHS are working in partnership.

Home First reduces hospital stays by offering patients the opportunity to finish their therapy out of the hospital with tailored help from professionals – providing better outcomes and freeing-up vital hospital beds.

Since its launch two years ago more than 5,000 people have been helped by Home First; saving over 50,000 bed days and reducing permanent placements in care homes by more than 10 per cent.

The Rapid Response Service aims to keep people at home, instead of being admitted to hospital. Service staff make a home visit to see whether the individual can be looked after at home instead of being admitted to hospital. The service aims to put support in place so that the person can stay at home.

Rapid Response works with other services, including GP’s, the ambulance service, NHS 111, social care and local charities.


Latest news

Reopening non-essential retail
April 9, 2021

Sedgemoor District Council is working with shop-keepers, traders and larger national chain stores to prepare for the re-opening of High Streets and retail centres, following the Government announcement that non-essential shops can open from Monday, April 12th.   Pavement stencilling has been refreshed in Bridgwater, Highbridge, Burnham, Wedmore and Cheddar to remind people to keep their…

Read More
Ibis Bridgwater becomes first uk hotel to fully showcase Accor’s Ibis plaza design concept
April 8, 2021

Accor has this week opened the largest internationally-branded hotel in the Somerset town of Bridgwater; the 144-room ibis Bridgwater. Operated by Cycas Hospitality as part of a management agreement with Zeal Hotels and Sandgate Investors, the new-build property is the first ibis hotel in the UK to showcase the brand’s new Plaza design throughout. The…

Read More
Recovery Loan Scheme launches today
April 6, 2021

A new government-backed loan scheme launches today (6 April) to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it. new loan scheme will provide further support to protect businesses and jobsloans will include 80% government guarantee and interest rate capgovernment has backed £75 billion of loans to date as part of unprecedented £350 billion wider…

Read More
Free advice on offer for Green start-ups
April 6, 2021

Somerset’s local authorities are providing free business advice to people wanting to set up their own Green business. The workshops, run by Business West advisers, are fully funded by Somerset County Council and the four District Councils:  Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset. The project is being funded through a Business Rates…

Read More