Great Yarmouth doctor supports new care at home system

Northgate Hospital, Great Yarmouth. Picture taken from Google Street View

Northgate Hospital, Great Yarmouth. Picture taken from Google Street View - Credit: Archant

A Great Yarmouth doctor has thrown his support behind a new system which is bringing care into people's homes and reducing hospital stays.

Dr Myles Duffield, retained GP and lead of emergency and urgent care at Northgate hospital and Park

Dr Myles Duffield, retained GP and lead of emergency and urgent care at Northgate hospital and Park House care home in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Supplied

The introduction of an out of hospital team is designed to support patients to stay in their own homes during a crisis and remain independent, with healthcare professionals looking after patients at home.

The new team in Great Yarmouth means that the GP unit beds at Northgate Hospital are no longer needed, and these will close.

Dr Myles Duffield, a GP at Park Surgery in Great Yarmouth, also works for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney clinical commissioning group, HealthEast. And he said the changes are a 'brilliant idea'.

'Sitting in a hospital bed makes people weaker,' said Dr Duffield. 'And for a lot of elderly people the worst place they can be is in hospital.

'So the new system will have less people going to hospital which will mean less ultimately going into long term care.'

When a patient needs more care than can be safely provided at home, they can be cared for in a nursing or residential home, under a scheme known as 'beds with care'.

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This could be due to a worsening of an existing condition, as part of a rehabilitation pathway or to support palliative or end of life care.

This service will be provided at either Park House care home in Great Yarmouth or the Vineries in Hemsby.

The number of older people in England is increasing nationwide, with the percentage of the population aged over 65 in Great Yarmouth and Waveney currently at 24pc. This is set to double over the next 20 years.

And these changes are generally aimed at elderly people who may have multiple, long term conditions, or who have illnesses which are short, both of which can be treated at home. It is also thought it will benefit carers and those facing end of life care, by providing more comfortable surroundings akin to their home environment.

'It's a new service which has been tried in Lowestoft with great success,' said Dr Duffield. 'The patient feedback has been great, and those who aren't so ill that they need to be admitted to hospital will benefit.'

The changes come after two extensive public consultations, known as shape of the system, which took place earlier in the summer and asked for views on making substantial changes to the way services are commissioned.

Andy Evans, chief executive of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG said: 'We said as part of the shape of the system public consultation that we would put robust community services in place before closing GP community hospital beds and that is what we have now done. Already the team are making a positive impact with an initial survey of 93 patients showing that 100pc said they felt they were treated with dignity and respect, 98pc were very satisfied with the care they received and 78pc said they felt there had been an improvement in their health and they could better understand and manage their condition. In October the team supported 120 patients to stay at home.'