A JOINT health and social care team set up a year ago to support vulnerable people in their own homes 24 hours a day is "seeing great results", health bosses say.

Known as the Integrated Fast Response Team, it was designed to prevent people in the Hambleton and Richmondshire areas of North Yorkshire who need some extra support with help and care in their own homes for a period of up to six weeks.

Its aim is to get people back on their feet and to prevent them being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.

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The team was developed jointly by NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group, South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust and North Yorkshire County Council’s Health and Adult Services.

It provides up to six weeks of overnight care for people aged 18 and over, supports individuals in a crisis, and provides personal care, help with daily living activities and other practical tasks for people who may need it.

The team can respond quickly to patients in crisis, including patients in their own homes or in the A&E department at the Friarage Hospital, Northallerton. It also supports people who have recently been discharged from hospital, people with complex conditions and the frail elderly population.

The service is made up of health and social care professionals including registered general nurses, occupational therapists, healthcare assistants and social care workers. They are mainly contacted by local GPs when they recognise that their patients need some extra help.

Dr Mark Hodgson, GP and member of Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, said: “Working together in this co-ordinated way allows us to put patients’ needs at the heart of our services and ensures the right kinds of care are provided in a smooth and efficient manner.

“While previously a service has been provided during the daytime, this set-up allows us to respond to people’s needs quickly, any time of the day or night. We are already seeing great results and will continue to develop and strengthen the service over the next 12 months.”

A total of £422,000 per year for three years has been invested in the service.

Carol Barton, 53, from East Cowton, North Yorkshire, was so impressed at the care she received she wrote to the manager of the team that helped her recover at home after a hip replacement operation to thank her.

“They just gave me confidence and a lot of support,” she said.