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Hit project treats 999 patients in own home
9:30pm Tuesday 24th April 2012 in News
A REVOLUTIONARY scheme where doctors visit 999 patients in their own homes has proved such a big hit NHS bosses have decided to extend it.
The pioneering scheme launched last December was designed to provide better care for patients while easing pressure both on hospital beds and overstretched paramedics across Worcestershire.
The scheme by NHS Worcestershire to help hospitals over the busy winter period was scheduled to stop at the end of March but health bosses have decided to carry on the contract with charity Mercia Accident Rescue Service (MARS), nicknamed ‘the Martians’, until the end of June.
Precise figures about numbers of people seen by doctors as part of the scheme have yet to be confirmed. However, Dr Jonathan Leach, medical director at NHS Worcestershire, the GP who devised the scheme, said the project had meant that between 80 and 90 per cent of the patients seen had been treated in their own homes rather than being taken to hospital.
Dr Leach said: “It’s improving the care of patients in that it means only those patients who need to go to hospital go to hospital. It’s helping ambulance crews because they’re released earlier and it’s helping the hospitals which are already under pressure.”
The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch has consistently failed to hit a Government set target to see, treat, discharge, transfer or admit at least 95 per cent of all emergency patients within four hours of their arrival at A&E.
Mr Leach, one of the doctors working shifts for the scheme, has already helped a nine-year-old boy who was choking, someone who had collapsed at a hairdresser’s and older people at nursing homes, intervening before they were taken to hospital.