Older people in Warrington will benefit from a new Rapid Community Response Service to help keep them well at home and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

The council and NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, in partnership with local healthcare providers, is delivering a project to review and redesign intermediate care services in Warrington. The project forms part of the wider Frailty Improvement Programme, incorporating bed-based and community-based provision, which works with people to regain and maintain their independence at home.

As part of this project, a new Rapid Community Response Service is set to launch in February. The service 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.

The skilled team of multi-disciplinary professionals will respond within two hours and work with the person and their family to provide the appropriate care, treatment and support they need to remain safe and independent at home, for up to 72 hours.

The service will be available Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm initially, with future plans to make it available in the evenings and at weekends. Short-term intensive support, including nursing, social work, occupational therapy and access to essential equipment are the key elements of the service, enabling patients to safely regain independence as quickly as possible, avoiding admission to hospital.

This system-wide development has been acknowledged nationally, following a successful bid to NHS England, to become one of seven ‘accelerator sites’. Additional investment for the Rapid Community Response Service will be made available as part of the NHS Long Term Plan and will enable Warrington to further develop and enhance the local offer to support our ageing population and those with complex needs.

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.

“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.”

Seven ‘accelerator sites’ have been selected to develop services to meet the new national standards, with the ambition that at least three areas will be fully operational by next winter and in every part of the country by April 2023.

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Expert rapid response teams supporting older people at home