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Keeping people out of hospitals, with great care close to home

Posted on: 8th January 2024

We often work behind the scenes to keep people out of hospitals, by supporting them with care close to home. 

LCHS operates many services to help patients with different needs to be looked after at home. This includes the Urgent Community Response (UCR) Team which has recently extended its service to respond to people who have fallen at home. The new falls service is specifically designed to help pick up anyone who has fallen but who is well enough to stay at home.  

The team respond within two hours to help pick up a patient and they provide a holistic assessment there and then to support them to remain in their own home and ensure they are safe. 

Through services such as this, we help patients to avoid unnecessary hospital stays, plus it means more ambulances are freed up to care for those who need them most. 

We have also recently introduced a new service to help move patients who need additional help to be moved in their own homes. Again, this is a service that works hard behind the scenes and would often not be thought of unless yourself or your loved one needed their help.  

But it is a crucial, non-emergency service to make sure that patients can be moved safely, and with dignity, within their home. This may include, for example, moving a patient from upstairs to downstairs in a carry-chair. Two dedicated crews are now located in Louth and Skegness, providing countywide support. 

One of our more established programmes is virtual wards, which allows patients to receive care and support from healthcare professionals while staying in their homes. Patients are monitored remotely, and if they need medical attention, a healthcare professional will visit them at home or arrange for them to come into hospital.  

Not only does this mean patients do not need to go into hospital to receive care, but the team can also electronically prescribe where appropriate, so the patient doesn’t need to leave their home to have access to the medicine they need either. 

Virtual wards have proven to improve recovery, provide patients with a convenient way to receive care and free up beds in hospitals for patients who aren’t suited to virtual wards.  

In fact, within its first year, our frailty virtual ward had just under 500 admissions and saved more than 2000 hospital bed days.  

These are just some of the amazing services that make up part of the community health service in Lincolnshire. They’re not always in the spotlight, but their role in keeping people in Lincolnshire well is vital. Thank you to all our staff who work tirelessly every day behind the scenes.