Older patients at West Suffolk Hospital will be able to return home earlier from hospital with the expansion of the specialist team which makes sure they can go home safely.
The Early Intervention team sees health and social care staff work together to help with the discharge of older patients.
This has extended its hours and also staff number, with seven more joining the team along with senior occupational therapist Gareth Bissett.
From Monday the EIT now operates seven days a week and longer hours, working 8.30am to 9pm weekdays and 10 am to 5pm at weekend.
Previously there had been no weekend working and weekdays the team operated between 8.30am and 4.30pm.
The expansion of the service has been made possible with transformation funding of £400,000 from the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.
The EITprovides a one stop shop for services to make sure that everything is in place when an older person returns home.
The team will assess patients in the Emergency Department and short stay unit and develop a discharge plan. This puts the right support in place for their return home, ensuring equipment and care needs are met as well as follow up services in the community.
As part of the project Age UK Suffolk has expanded the hours of work of its Welcome Home Service.
This works from the hospital to help more vulnerable patients who are discharged. They can assess a patient’s home situation and provide tailored support to help people regain daily skills such as cooking, shopping and laundry.
Gylda Nunn, integrated therapies ,manager at West Suffolk Hospital,said: “The expansion of the Early Intervention Team is great news for our patients who will benefit from a joined up approach across organisations which meet their own individual needs.”
Sharron Cozens, director of services at Age UK Suffolk said: “Sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference - knowing you have the support you need, esoecially if you live alone, can give you the confidence to return home sooner.”
The EIT is made up of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social worker, community staff and voluntary sector workers. These come from the hospital, Suffolk Community Healthcare, social services and Age UK Suffolk.
The dementia intensive support team from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust will also be involved with the team in the future.