Hospital team hailed a success after helping more than 1,000 people

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A specialist team which ensures the right health and social care support is in place to allow older patients to return home from hospital more quickly has been hailed a success after helping more than 1,000 people in the past six months.

West Suffolk Hospital’s enhanced Early Intervention Team (EIT) has assessed over 1,000 older patients and successfully planned their discharge since April.

The team works by ensuring the right help is in place to allow patients to return home more quickly after they have received their treatment and are clinically fit. This could include specialist equipment, additional care, help with domestic activities or ongoing community healthcare support.

The ‘one-stop shop’ service is not only helping to avoid unnecessary admissions into hospital, but is also ensuring those who do need care on a ward do not need to stay as long.

Gylda Nunn, integrated therapies manager at the hospital, said: “The EIT has been a great success, and helps an average of 35 patients every week to return home more quickly.

“We do this by ensuring patients see the appropriate professionals at the front end of the hospital and are given the necessary treatment and advice to allow them to manage their own condition at home with the appropriate support.

“By bringing together different health and social care organisations, the team is ensuring everyone can receive joined-up, high quality, targeted and safe care which meets their individual needs and reduces their length of stay.”

Gareth Blissett, team lead, added: “This seven day service fully meets the needs of a growing older population by ensuring everything is in place for a safe and successful discharge.

“The feedback we have received from patients so far has been fantastic, with many saying the support provided by the team gave them the confidence they needed to go home, where they feel most comfortable.”