Home visits for Redbridge patients planned to ease winter pressure on King George Hospital

Doctors and nurses will be visiting patients at home to ease the pressure on King George Hospital this winter amid concerns services cannot cope with demand.

A community treatment team and intensive rehabilitation service will give patients the choice of being cared for at home if they want to be.

Doctors and nurses from the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), as well as local GPs, will be able to make visits when appropriate to stop them peple to travel.

The treatment service is running every day between 8am and 10pm, when A&E is busiest, and rehabilitation teams from 8am to 8pm.

The trust expects most patients to be older and frail with conditions like diabetes and emphysema but the service is available to all adults who need it.

A report by the College of Emergency Medicine warned A&E departments around the country are facing their “worst crisis on record” over the coming months amid spiralling A&E admissions.

Figures show Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs King George Hospital and Queen’s Hospital, has consistently failed to hit government A&E waiting time targets in the past year.

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The government injected £7million into services to cope this winter, which is being spent on projects to prevent unnecessary visits to A&E and shorter hospital stays.But King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, is still facing the closure of A&E in 2015 and more than 300 beds in a shake-up of care in north east London.

Dr Anil Mehta, chairman of the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group, insisted hospital beds will “always be there if people need them”.

He added: “As doctors, we agree hospital isn’t always the best place to be - it can often mean people lose their independence.

“These two new services are all about helping those Redbridge residents - usually older, frail people - at greatest risk of ending up in hospital because in the past that’s the only way they could get the right care.

“The aim now is to make sure a trip to hospital is prevented in the first place where that’s right for the patient.”