ALMOST 2,000 people have been seen at new £5.9m ‘social care hubs’ since they were introduced in Wakefield six months ago.
The hubs bring together health, social care, housing and voluntary and community organisations at a single office, so once assessed, a person could be seen by a nurse, occupational therapist, physio, social care worker, , housing officer or mental health worker depending on their need.
Rapid support - for example the provision of mobility equipment - is also at hand, so people can be seen on the same day to prevent them going to hospital.
In total, 636 urgent referrals have taken place in the first six months. Health bosses say the hubs, one in the east at Hemsworth, a second for the west in Lupset, and a third satellite unit in Castleford, have relieved pressure on GPs and made accessing care easier for patients.
It is jointly funded by NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Wakefield Council, and comes under the integrated care system ran by West Yorkshire and Harrogate (WY&H) Health and Care Partnership, which aims to offer people a seamless service by working with the NHS, local councils, housing and the voluntary sector.
Jo Webster, WY&H group lead and chief officer at NHS Wakefield CCG, said: “People only want to tell their story once and then they want a solution. Many elderly people don’t have a single medical condition or social care problem, they need a package of help which meets their needs and what we’ve done in Wakefield and in other areas of WY&H is to provide that.”
Dr Phil Earnshaw, local GP and chair at the NHS Wakefield CCG, said: “This has been fantastic for primary care because it saves so much resource. We have more time to use clinical expertise because there is a wider team supporting us.
“All we need to do when we have a patient who is appropriate for the service is refer into the Hubs and we know their needs are taken care of. The new electronic care record system we’ve introduced means we can all see the patient’s record and that all individuals involved in someone’s care know what’s happened to that person from the beginning to the end of their journey.”