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NHS Vale of York Aims For "Winter Proof" Service


5:19pm 14th January 2014

NHS Vale of York says it's working to help local health services be winter proof and cope with increasing numbers of norovirus, flu and other illnesses.

Dr Andrew Phillips from NHS Vale of York 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 today which means through the winter the Home from Hospital patient transport scheme will use help 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, NHS Vale of York 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. 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.”

NHS Vale of York adds it is starting to plan for winter pressures in the next financial year and will continue to test new ideas with partners across the health and social care community.

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