Lewisham CCG Commissions Winter Team To Help Keep Elderly People Out Of A&E
NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a pilot service to avoid unnecessary visits to A&E over the winter months. The service, Lewisham Winter Assessment Team, will provide additional support to GPs and Care Homes by providing urgent medical assessments to patients that are housebound. Referrals are made by telephone and patients will be seen by an advanced nurse practitioner in a bid to reduce pressure on A&E and 999.
The Lewisham Winter Assessment team is a pilot service that will run initially for six months. Provided by Bromley Healthcare, a community healthcare provider, it is expected that it will make the biggest difference to frail elderly people across the borough who will receive help and advice much more quickly than at present. The service allows GPs, nursing and residential homes and extra care housing facilities to make direct referrals to services and arrange immediate home visits for patients requiring an urgent assessment in order to proactively manage their condition, prevent crisis and avoid unnecessary attends to A&E.
Marc Rowland, Chair at NHS Lewisham CCG said: "We know that A&E admissions and hospital attendances create additional pressure during the winter months. That is why we are taking a number of measures to reduce the burden including introducing our Lewisham Winter Assessment Team. We are pleased to be working with Bromley Healthcare to increase support for patients across the borough so they get the help they need without having to wait. This is the first time we are piloting this kind of programme and are optimistic the results will speak for themselves."
Bromley Healthcare's CEO, Jonathan Lewis said: "We have spent years developing our urgent response service to support housebound patients. Our Lewisham service is supplemented by mobile technology saving nurses one hour a day which can be devoted to direct patient care. The technology supports staff to deliver consistently high quality care which we are able to track in real time ensuring Lewisham residents will receive timely high quality care at home this winter" .