A CARE provider has moved to ease overcrowding at north Hampshire hospitals by keeping hundreds of people from being admitted to the facilities.

The Bluebird Care JET (Joint Emergency Team) service has kept 347 people out of hospital in 10 months, helping to ease the pressure on Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) facilities by caring for patients in their own homes.

Norman Murphy, owner and managing director of Bluebird Care, said: “We really commend the NHS West Hampshire CCG and Hampshire County Council for looking at new and innovative ways to relieve the intense pressure on the NHS.

"Providing care in people’s own homes has not only benefitted local hospitals, it has also been hugely beneficial to patients.”

The service is achieving significant reductions in the number of unnecessary admissions, and this has in turn resulted in savings for the NHS, with the average UK hospital admission costing £1,800 per patient.

Philip Heiden, director at Mid-Hampshire Healthcare, said: “It has long been known that with correct community social care support, thousands of people that are unnecessarily admitted to hospital can be cared for just as well, if not better, in their own homes and Bluebird Care were the perfect partner to deliver this.”

The care provider also works with eight GP surgeries in and around Andover, including St Mary’s Surgery and Charlton Hill Surgery. GPs, district nurses and community care teams refer patients with acute illnesses to the JET Service which then assesses the patient within a few hours and puts in place emergency care in their own home. It is hoped this partnership will become an ongoing service beyond a winter pressures initiative.