A SOUTH Gloucestershire health care provider is celebrating its one year anniversary of providing specialist care by extending an innovative scheme.

Sirona Care and Health, a not-for-profit social enterprise which is NHS funded, celebrated its anniversary on Wednesday, April 1 with the introduction of a specialist Health Visitor team set up to help the elderly stay out of hospital in South Gloucestershire.

The schemes comes on top of a range of specialist packages introduced over the last year aimed at keeping people as independent as possible and avoiding hospital admission.

Janet Rowse, chief executive of Sirona, said: “Working closely with our GP colleagues we have introduced a model of care which keeps people safely supported in their own homes with the introduction of additional community services.

“Should someone require hospital admission, these services help them to return home more quickly and in a safe way. We know people prefer to be at home where possible.

“We are very proud that in the first six months of these initiatives being live we saw a 64 per cent increase in the number of rehabilitation sessions provided to people in their own homes, 34 per cent more people cared for at home and an additional 21 per cent of people supported when they were discharged from hospital.

“And most importantly patients and their families are positive about their experience which is important to all of us at Sirona as we believe in treating people as we would a member of our own family.”

The initiatives include:

-Extending the hospital discharge liaison service to operate over seven days.

-GP practices are working closely together in six clusters across South Gloucestershire and Sirona has ensured that each one has its own dedicated community team.

-Increasing the number of people who are supported on discharge from hospital by community staff so they can leave sooner and increasing the number of people cared for in their own homes to avoid an admission into hospital.

-The provision of 11 Emergency Care Practitioners who can respond urgently to people in their own homes to help avoid hospital admissions; this service now has an increased role in supporting people who have fallen at home.

-The introduction of a “Discharge to Assess” service which means patients who are medically fit but require rehabilitation can be discharged and assessed in their own home on the same day. A night sitter is provided for the first night to provide reassurance to them and to their family.

-Increasing capacity to provide more Intravenous (IV) therapy at home which also allows early discharge for those in hospital only needing IV antibiotics or other forms of IV therapy.