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Care Closer to Home

A new team of doctors, therapists and nurses is working together to enhance the experience of older patients coming into hospital via the emergency departments or the medical admissions units.

CREST - County Durham Rapid Elderly Care Specialist Team - is a team of specialists which assesses the more elderly and frail patients when they come into hospital as an emergency. By having this specialist assessment available at an early stage it means more patients can be supported with a package of care to return home rather than needing to be admitted to hospital.

CREST is running alongside a wider scheme in our hospitals, which is enabling ward staff to work more closely with community colleagues to put in place the right package of care for inpatients to support them returning home earlier or to be treated in their own home.

Paula Wood, Care Closer to Home Practitioner says: "There are times when people need to come into hospital, but we also know that sometimes with the right support and care others could go home sooner or could stay at home instead. By integrating acute and community care we can bring real improvements to patient care, staff are able to share their specialist knowledge of different areas of care and support each other."

The scheme has been extremely successful and evidence shows that during a 22 week period over 300 unnecessary admissions to hospital were prevented.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham