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NHS Vale of York CCG extend funding for Rapid Assessment Team at York Hospital

An additional £2m winter monies has been invested locally by the Department of Health to tackle the pressures that winter puts on to local healthcare services and to improve services for patients during these busy periods.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working closely with the City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and York Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust as well as local Healthwatch and hospice teams to ensure the funding improves the flow of patients through the health and social care system during what has proven to be an extremely busy period.

£57,000 has been invested in the Rapid Assessment Team Service, a specialist team that works in the emergency department at York Hospital.

The team facilitates the safe, rapid discharge of patients and supports vulnerable people throughout the transition back to their own home after medical assessment – those who might otherwise be admitted to hospital. The team also arranges access to a further rehabilitation facility should this be necessary.

Dr Andrew Phillips, lead for urgent care at NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “The CCG has been working closely with its partners to develop ways in which the additional funding can help winter-proof a range of local healthcare services and a number of schemes have already been launched across the Vale of York to help better support patients in the most appropriate settings.

“The Rapid Assessment Team Service provides a multi-disciplinary team that includes occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers as well as clinical assessments from doctors in the emergency department.

“The team usually work between 8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, with financial support from the CCG, the service has been extended for an extra three hours per day, five days a week.

“This innovation has included a two hour rapid response service provided by a local home care provider which means that vulnerable patients who return home from the emergency department can quickly receive support in their own home.

“Winter has now passed but the CCG is delighted to announce that, as a result of the success of the initiative, funding has been agreed to maintain the extended work of the Rapid Assessment Team Service for a further three months.”

“The work undertaken by the team will continue to allow patients to be treated in their own home and keep unplanned hospital admissions down.

“As well as the range of winter-proofing schemes that the CCG has launched, to ensure people are treated in the most appropriate setting as quickly as possible, the CCG is urging local people to only go to A&E if it is really necessary and to consider the alternatives first before deciding the type of care they need.”

Victoria Adams, Principal Therapist at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Staff within the team have worked really hard to make this new initiative successful. They have welcomed the opportunity to extend the service they provide into the evening and to be able to support more patients, during what is often a distressing time.”

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