Newport Local Health Board
Newport LHB commissions Age Concern Gwent to provide a scheme to prevent admission to hospital.
The scheme was set up in 1999 and enables any health professional with admitting rights to hospital (GPs and Trust staff working in Accident and Emergency or the Medical Assessment Unit but not social workers) to make referrals for intensive short-term (up to a maximum of 10 days) social care in the homes of people aged 50 or over. The service provides care seven days a week and provides a response within two hours of referral with a view to preventing an emergency medical admission. The scheme assists over 200 people a year at an annual cost of £180,000, which broadly means that each admission it avoids costs around £880. Based on an average cost of a hospital bed day of £300 and an average length of stay of seven days, a recent independent review of the scheme estimated that it saved £420,000 in bed costs each year, a net saving of £240,000. There are some areas in which the scheme could operate more effectively including: three LHBs have patients in the Royal Gwent hospital but they have different care pathways and different ways of accessing them which is potentially confusing for staff in wards such as Accident and Emergency and the Medical Assessment Unit; and there are highly variable referral rates to the scheme from Newport GPs and Trust staff.