A SERVICE to help GPs and patients by giving people care in their own homes instead of going to hospital has expanded into Whitchurch.

Bluebird Care has doubled the amount of its JET (Joint Emergency Team) services after a five-month pilot earlier this year.

JET is a rapid response service designed for GPs, district nurses, and hospitals to give patients emergency care in their own homes.

The service initially operated across 10 GP practices in the Winchester, Eastleigh, Andover, and Stockbridge areas.

Now, it has been extended to 18 GP practices, including Whitchurch.

The service is now fully in effect in the areas, and the medical help that it provides has been expanded along with it’s geographical reach.

Norman Murphy, owner and managing director of Bluebird Care, said: “The Bluebird Care JET Service has proved to be a vital service for both our local community and GP practices so we are thrilled to extend the service to more people throughout our local area.

“It has given us immense pride to relieve the bed blocking pressures in both the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester and the Andover War Memorial Hospital which are both at maximum capacity and we look forward to continuing our positive impact.

“The JET Service has been designed to prevent people being admitted to hospital that don’t really need to be there.

We are now working with the NHS to explore options to help relieve the equally pressing problem of speeding up the discharge process of patients from hospital.”

The service has managed to prevent a total of 158 people in the area from being admitted to hospital in a six month period, saving the NHS money, as the average UK hospital admission costs £1,800 per patient.

Philip Heiden, director at Mid-Hampshire Healthcare, said: “We are delighted to take the success of the Bluebird Care JET pilot to develop and expand it into a fully-fledged service. It’s clear that with the 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 have shown they are the perfect partner to deliver this.”