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Worcestershire leads the way in health reforms
A PIONEERING initiative in Worcestershire is transforming the way health and care is being delivered by bringing services closer together than ever before.
The county was part of 14 ambitious initiatives, which are blazing a trail for change by exploring new ways of delivering coordinated care.
The aim is to make health and social care services work together to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community to prevent people needing emergency care in hospital or care homes.
The Government now wants to see these initiatives spread across the country, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced today.
In Worcestershire the Well Connected programme was introduced bringing together all the local NHS organisations, Worcestershire County Council and key representatives from the voluntary sector.
The aim of the scheme is to better join up and co-ordinate health and care for people and support them to stay healthy, recover quickly from an illness and ensure care and treatment is received in the most appropriate place in the hope this will lead to a reduction in admissions and the length of stays.
Results across all initiatives included 2,000 fewer patient admissions over a two and a half year period, reducing waiting times from eight weeks to 48 hours at physiotherapy services and setting up a crisis house where people who suffer mental health problems can get intensive support.
Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister, said: “Too often care is uncoordinated, leaving too many people in the West Midlands needlessly entering the revolving door of their local A&E again and again, because somewhere in the system their care has broken down.
“We have heard people talk about integration before, but it has never truly taken hold across the NHS. These pioneers are a starting gun for the NHS in the Midlands and social care to achieve a common goal – to get local health and care services working together, not separately, in the interests of the people that they all serve.
“However, this is just the start – we want to make integrated care the norm across the country and planning has already begun in order to invest £3.8bn into integrated health and care services in 2015/16.”