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Clinical Chief welcomes £2m investment to tackle winter health pressures

An additional £2m is being invested locally by the Department of Health which will be used to increase and improve services to patients to tackle the pressures that winter puts upon local healthcare services.

NHS Vale of York and NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) have worked closely with the City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, York and Leeds Partnership NHS Trust and York Foundation Trusts as well as local Healthwatch and hospice teams to ensure the funding assists the flow of patients through the health and social care system during what is anticipated to be an extremely busy period.

As Britain braces itself for what current long range forecasts predict as the “the worst winter in decades” and “record breaking snowfall,” the CCG announced today how the extra funding will be allocated.

In common with the rest of the country, hospitals and the ambulance service are extremely busy during the winter, and the expectation of a extreme winter weather on its way, the CCG’s are on alert to plan ahead as much as physically possible.

Dr Mark Hayes, Chief Clinical Officer for NHS Vale of York CCG, said: "We welcome this additional funding, which will assist us in our goal of ensuring patients receive the best possible care in the most appropriate setting.

"Last winter put enormous pressures on the whole healthcare system in the Vale of York. Issues created by extreme weather and outbreaks of flu and norovirus are difficult to cope with but this funding will help

“Joined up working in health and social care is important at all times, even more so when winter arrives. We will be working very closely with our partners to ensure that the flow through our hospitals runs smoothly and that there is extra capacity available in the community for those who are ready to be discharged.

"I urge local people to only go to A&E if it is really necessary and consider the alternatives provided by the ‘Choose Well’ scheme first before deciding the type of care they need. I also encourage those who have not had their flu jab to do so as soon as possible. The flu and norovirus are rife in the winter months and we need to do all we can to protect ourselves.

“Catching flu can be serious; especially so if you have a long-term health condition like diabetes, a suppressed immune system, lung, heart, kidney, liver or neurological disease. Pregnant women also need to protect their baby. Please book your appointment for a flu jab as soon as possible.”

Kathy Clark, Assistant Director for Assessment and Safeguarding, City of York Council, said: “This extra funding will enable us to put in place a number of new actions, including providing additional social work support on an evening, with access to a home care service to enable us to respond to emergencies until 8pm and helping people find alternatives to A&E admissions. We will work with colleagues across the NHS to provide support to residents across the city throughout the difficult winter period.”

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