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Health commissioner swaps project plans for blue lights to join urgent care practitioners

Health commissioners from NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) joined Urgent Care Practitioners last week to observe its commission of an innovative and a unique way to overcome avoidable hospital admissions and attendance at A&E.

The CCG has invested another £1/2 million into the local UCP scheme, increasing the amount of practitioners from 4 to 12, meaning that more Vale of York patients with urgent care needs can be treated in their own home.

UCPs are independent Advanced Practitioners who respond to 999 calls for life threatening, emergency care but they are also able to assess and treat patients in their own home, where it is appropriate to do so, and make referrals to the most appropriate agencies if needed.

Typically, UCPs receive referrals and treat patients who have fallen, have catheter problems, wound care issues, need treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.

Julie Ryan, Senior Delivery Manager at the CCG who joined the UCPs on duty saw first-hand how a UCP cared for and treated a 95 year old lady who had fallen. The lady received treatment for a minor leg wound and was medically assessed at the scene, so preventing an admission to hospital.

Dr Andrew Phillips, a local GP and the CCG’s Deputy Chief Clinical Officer said: “Our Urgent Care Practitioners are Paramedics that have had advanced training so they can treat and discharge patients with minor injuries and illnesses in their own home.

“For the 95 year old lady, who was treated when Julie went on duty with the UCP, it meant she could be made comfortable where she lived in a care home. In fact, as Julie and the UCP left, she was sound asleep.  Now that’s a job well done!

“UCPs can also administer a number of medications such as antibiotics and act to speak with GP’s or other care providers where they think a change to medication or frequency of care is required.

“Hospitals and A&E departments are experiencing an increase in admissions and in the Vale of York the pressure continues to grow so joined up working and partnerships are important.

“That’s why the CCG has invested in this unique project and is working very closely with Yorkshire Ambulance Service to address the challenges that impact on the pressures and flow through our hospitals’ and Accident and Emergency services.”

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