A fire brigade will bring "the most vulnerable" patients home from a battered hospital to new plans this winter.

The Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Services will assist patients who need "help with settling" after their release from the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

A spokeswoman for the fire department said the NHS is under extreme pressure during the winter months.

Trained experts will therefore be available to perform wellness and safety checks on patients at home.

A spokesperson for the NHS Trust in Worcestershire Acute Hospitals added that the fire department's help would "free up beds", "improve patient care", "reduce waiting times" and "improve ambulance deliveries".

A fire department brings home "the most vulnerable" patients to Redditch after a new plan from the battling Alexandra Hospital. A spokesperson for the NHS Trust in Worcestershire Acute Hospitals added that the fire department's help would "free up beds."

The service will be available from early next month at the Alexandra Hospital, operated by the Worcestershire Trust.

"It addresses the weakest to make sure they are safe in their own homes," a spokeswoman for the fire department told HSJ.

"Ambulatory patients and possibly some wheelchair users will all benefit from being transported home by uniformed firefighters who are trained in recognizing housing risks and the necessary additional agency support."

She added that "normal" vehicles routinely used by the fire brigade community transport patients home.

The service aims to accelerate safe discharges and operates seven days a week to bring patients home by noon, a statement from the Trust said.

The fire and rescue team has agreed to provide the service for the first six months at no charge to "pinpoint the exact requirements of such a service in the future," a statement said.

"This offer of additional support from our local fire department could help improve our relief processes," said a trusted speaker.

"And help our efforts to ensure that patients who are medically fit for discharge go home safely, clean up beds, improve patient flow, reduce waiting times in our emergency room, and improve ambulance delivery times.

The Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (motor used by the service is pictured) will assist patients who require "cleanup" after discharge

"It's just part of a much larger system plan, and some details still need to be agreed, but it is our ambition to explore all possibilities to ensure the safe and effective operation of the services over the winter."

Only patients who do not need home care can claim this service.

Suggestions for the arrangement were included in the winter plan of the Worcestershire A & E Delivery Board.

The Worcestershire Trust's winter plans also aim to expand the capacity of the bed and better classify patients based on their severity.


Waiting times for overburdened R & D units are at their worst since records began in April 2018, according to official figures.

Experts said the NHS was in an "eternal winter" and many hospitals are still struggling to cope with unprecedented pressure.

Health and Social Affairs Minister Jeremy Hunt had to admit that it was the "worst winter ever" in the midst of a severe flu and cold weather.

Chiefs canceled thousands of operations to reduce pressure. Experts have suggested that this may be the only option to end a crisis next year.

The latest monthly data from NHS England also show that waiting times for routine surgeries such as knee and hip replacements have been highest since 2004.

And violent attacks on the workforce have increased 10 percent in a year, partly due to frustration and waiting times.

These include more GP streaming at Worcestershire Royal and a new emergency center at Alexandra Hospital.

Last winter, the ambulances were rejected by the A & E departments and diverted 376 times to other nearby emergency departments across England.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust accounted for nearly a third of these diversions, with 105 being between November and March.

The trust even made headline news as ambulances queued for hours to bring patients to their emergency room, which the West Midland Ambulance Service called a "disaster."

Winter 2017, which was described by ex-Minister of Health Jeremy Hunt as "the worst", also saw that the majority of hospital contracts worked with insecure bed occupancy.

Patients are more likely to get infections or neglect when the wards are above the safe 85 percent level.

It is believed that doctors and nurses do not always have time to wash their hands between patients or to clean the beds thoroughly because they are so overstretched.

Between November 20 and March 4, NHS Trust of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals did not record less than 85 percent per day.

The lowest occupancy rate of overnight beds was on Christmas day when just over 93 percent of the beds were full.

On seven occasions, an occupancy rate of 100 percent was achieved, ie there were no free beds at all.

Mr. Hunt selected the Worcestershire Trust because officials were the most worried.

Despite the Trust's winter plans, a paper discussing the proposal said, "The weekly Chief Operating Officers are still worried that the current plan will not adequately reduce bed occupancy on the WRH site."


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