A new Integrated Assessment Hub, one of the first of its kind in the country, has opened its doors today at Walsall Manor Hospital.
The hub will act as a ‘front door’ providing an alternative to A&E for patients who arrive but can be cared for within the community.
It will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary teams including community nurses, pharmacists, urgent care, ambulance and other community-based services as well as social care workers making it one of the first fully integrated assessment hubs.
Daren Fradgley, Director of Integration for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are really proud to be one of the first hospitals in the UK to include social care as part of our integrated assessment hub. This is a really big milestone in our ambition to transform the way health and social care services are delivered and enable us to provide more seamless integrated services for the people of Walsall. We really want to make sure that our residents are getting the treatment they need, in the most appropriate place for it to be delivered and in the quickest time possible and in most cases this is not A&E. By putting a team of staff within the hospital from multiple professions we will be able to better assess people on arrival and refer them to the most appropriate services for their needs.”
Councillor Rose Martin, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Walsall Council said:
“The launch of the Integrated Assessment Hub represents true joined-up working between health and social care in the borough and we are proud to be part of it. The Walsall Together Partnership delivers the best possible outcomes for the residents of Walsall.
“People needing support will be able to access it though one ‘front door’ and will be offered support and advice to address their wider health and wellbeing needs and sourcing community-based solutions. This will prevent the duplication of effort and reduce the pressure on both social care and health services.”
Once in the hub, people will be assessed and referred to the most appropriate person, depending on their needs. As well as health and social care services this could also include signposting them to housing, community or voluntary services.
People who need urgent care that can be delivered in the community or at their home, preventing them from being admitted to hospital, will be referred to the Rapid Response Team for support within two hours.
The team also support the discharge teams within the hospital to help get patients home as quickly as possible by identifying patients suitable to return home with the help of community based services and providing support to put these into action.
The new hub is the latest initiative being implemented by the Walsall Together partnership. Through providing integrated care the hubs are proven to ensure patients get the care they need in the quickest time, relieve pressure on A&E departments, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and help people to be discharged from hospital as soon as they are well enough.