East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership focuses on care closer to home to manage winter pressures

Every year, NHS boards are required to produce plans to ensure resilience over the winter months. East Lothian’s Winter Plan, agreed by the East Lothian Integration Joint Board on Thursday 31 October, aims to keep pressure off Lothian’s acute hospitals by treating more people than ever at home or closer to home.

Services like our Discharge to Assess intensive rehabilitation team, the COPD Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner and our Patient Flow Team, which will now work extended hours seven days a week to support speedier assessment and discharge from hospital, will all be relieving pressures on hospital beds over the next few months. We are increasing the capacity of the Hospital at Home team to ensure that patients have care packages in place as soon as they are medically ready to be discharged from hospital. We are also increasing the operating hours of the Emergency Care Service, so that it runs overnight as well as during the day. This service focuses on helping people to stay at home during a crisis rather than having to be admitted to a care home or hospital bed.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Director/East Lothian IJB Chief Officer Alison Macdonald says:

"We developed our plan alongside other Health and Social Care Partnerships in the Lothians and the Acute Services Division of NHS Lothian and it is now ready to be submitted to the Scottish Government.

"We have a good range of services already working to reduce hospital admissions and help people home from hospital as soon as they are ready and it’s great that we are able to enhance this tried-and-tested provision over the winter months to help take the pressure off Lothian’s acute hospitals. We believe that early intervention and care closer to home is the way forward for winter and all year round."

Published: Thursday, 31st October 2019