THIS week I wanted to tell you about the work we are doing to make more healthcare services available nearer to where you live, so that we can care for more people outside of hospital.

Have you heard of Healthy Wirral? It’s a joint project between all the health and social care organisations in Wirral.

One of the aims is to help people to look after their own health more, supporting Public Health England’s new ‘One You’ campaign to encourage people over 40 to drink less, eat well, move more and give up smoking. It’s so important to look after yourself in middle age, as being healthy now doubles your chance of good health at 70 and beyond.

We have created four healthcare hubs for patients with long-term or complex health needs, based in Birkenhead, Wallasey, Wirral South and West Wirral. Each hub has a team which plans, coordinates and delivers each patient’s healthcare, bringing in nurses, social workers, therapists, GPs, pharmacists, and any other professionals required.

So you are looked after by one team, and will eventually have one care record. It means we can look after more people at home, and avoid hospital admission wherever possible.

We have developed another new service to look after patients who are in a crisis, but aren’t suffering from a life-threatening condition.

For example if you have complex health needs, and can suddenly no longer cope at home.

Until now, you may have found yourself calling an ambulance and having to be admitted to hospital, even though you don’t actually require emergency medical treatment.

Now, your GP can refer you to the new ‘Community Response Service’ which will respond within four hours to organise immediate nursing or social care within your own home.

We’ve also helped to set up a new triage system in the Emergency Department at Arrowe Park. Patients now have an initial assessment which then directs them to the best place for their medical needs, whether that’s A&E, the Walk-in Centre, their GP or a Pharmacy.

It’s a time of significant change and development for NHS services in Wirral, as we create new ways of working and integrating to bring care closer to people’s homes.

As the largest provider of out-of-hospital care in Wirral, we are delighted to be at the forefront of these developments, supporting people to stay out of hospital, get out of hospital more quickly, remain at home for longer, but more importantly to stay well.

Please take the opportunity to find out more about all the services we have in Wirral and Cheshire East to help you to stay well and look after your health, by visiting our website

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