Herts initiative

Tuesday, 08 December, 2009

Agroundbreaking Innovations project
partnership has taken to the streets in West Hertfordshire.

The East of England Ambulance Service
are proud to announce a partnership
with Hertfordshire County Council
which is the first of its kind in the country. Social workers will accompany emergency care practitioners to give support to older people who have fallen at home but do not need to be taken by ambulance crews to the accident and emergency department.

Richard Smith, Executive Member for Adult
Care and Health, said: "This is an innovative way to reduce the number of unnecessary admissions to hospitals for older people who have fallen at home. Where it is agreed that the older person does not need to be transferred to hospital, the social worker can assess
their needs and decide what on-going
support is needed to help them remain independent and safe in their own home.

The project also aims to help prevent future falls and repeat 999 calls, by using equipment in the home to minimize the risks of falls."

John Martin, Clinical Specialist
(Development and Delivery) for the East of
England Ambulance Service, said:"In 2008 our trust responded to over 20,000 emergency calls in Hertfordshire which were categorised as a fall, accounting for a fifth of the workload. A significant proportion of these calls are
from older people who have fallen at home."

"A number of the patients have social care
needs that have increased the likelihood of having a fall. By working in partnership, we believe that future falls can be prevented by addressing both clinical and social care requirements
at the patient's home address."

The scheme, which is jointly funded by the
council and our trust, was piloted from
November 30 in Dacorum, Watford, Three
Rivers, St Albans and Hertsmere. If successful, it will be rolled out across the rest of the county.

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