From January, the admissions avoidance car is being rolled out across the whole of south Essex. But what is it, and how does it work?
In south east Essex there is a demographic challenge with regard to the growth of elderly residents who are frail and sadly suffer from falls. Predictions show a 15% increase in over 65s by 2020.
Subsequently this places additional demand on all health and social care services.
NHS South East Essex is working collaboratively with its partners; Southend-on-sea Borough Council, Southend Hospital and community service providers to respond to this challenge and improve services to support elderly in the community.
A series of projects have been launched that sees health and social care working hand in hand to prevent admission to hospital where possible, and to improve discharge planning for patients who are returning to the community or residential care.
Admission Avoidance Car
One such project is the ‘admission avoidance car’ which aims to reduce unnecessary trips to A&E following on from 999 calls. The car is driven by Emergency Care Practitioners from East of England Ambulance Trust who can treat patients in the comfort of their own homes and refer (where necessary) to other health and social care services. The project started in September 2010 and so far has seen over 1,000 patients.
Olive Martin, 80, from Rayleigh is one of the 1,000 local residents who has benefitted from the project. Olive suffered a fall in her garden earlier this year, on injuring her leg, Olive’s friend Jim, who was helping out with some gardening at the time, called 999. A paramedic arrived within minutes and on assessing Mrs Martin decided to call the ‘admissions avoidance car’ to prevent an unnecessary trip to A&E. Brent Sylvester, emergency care practitioner arrived shortly after with colleague John. Mrs Martin’s leg was then dressed in her own home much to the relief of Mrs Martin who said
“I am very pleased and grateful to those whose who helped me out. The paramedic came quickly after the 999 call, and subsequently Emergency Care Practitioner Brent Sylvester and colleague John spent a considerable time dealing with my injury – I was impressed by the care shown. It was bank holiday weekend and so I was glad that I could be treated in my own home rather than be admitted to hospital. The would is now fully healed and I feel it is because of the excellent treatment I received”
Brent Sylvester, Emergency Care Practitioner said “I am glad that Olive had such a positive experience – it’s important that people are treated in the right place at the right time with the least inconvenience – the ‘admission avoidance car’ is helping local residents maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. By working so closely with community health and social care colleagues, it’s also saving tax payers money“.
This is another great service from Essex NHS. It should help to give a lot of people peace of mind too, as in theory there will be more medical professionals at call to help in minor emergencies. Maybe soon such a service will cover all of Essex.