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Local NHS helps to make the Vale of York winter proof

The winter season always brings an increase in the number of admissions to hospital and A&E, and it is not expected to be any different this winter. We may not have had the snow and ice that has been forecasted; but as expected, the winter months have brought norovirus, flu and other pressures for our local healthcare services to cope with.

That is why NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working closely with its partners to help local healthcare services to be winter proof. 

Dr Andrew Phillips, the CCG lead for the Urgent Care Programme said: “Using the winter pressures money allocated to the Vale of York, we are piloting a range of schemes to help better support patients in the most appropriate settings.

“The winter period brings increased demands on hospital services. The pressure on A&E departments continues to increase and up to 50% of presentations are for minor symptoms that could have been treated elsewhere.

“We are working hard to address these challenges together and the local health and social care service providers have been working on winter plans and developing schemes to enhance and support local services to provide the best standard of care possible.”

One of the schemes begins on Tuesday 14 January. Through the winter the Home from Hospital patient transport scheme will incorporate support in the evening from Age UK that will help older people who would otherwise struggle to get home.

The service can support up to 4 people per evening, up to 9pm and will be accessible to any older person, including those who live in care homes.

Dr Phillips said: “To understand the outcomes of the schemes, the CCG is closely monitoring their impact and those that deliver a better quality service for patients; or free up staff for other work, may continue beyond the initial winter period.
"As well as introducing new schemes, we are also signposting the local community to Choose Well as it is important that people make sensible choices and use this health guidance this winter.

"We are also reminding everyone that we need their support to ensure we can give urgent and emergency care to the people who really need it. Local people can help with this by not to going to their GP or local hospital with symptoms of an upset stomach or a cold, as they risk infecting other patients.”

The CCG is starting to plan for winter pressures in the next financial year and will continue to test innovative ideas with partners across the health and social care community.

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