Jan 4 2013 by Andrew Welsh, Perthshire Advertiser
A service that supports older people with emergency care assistance provided festive reassurance.
Community care support was made available 24 hours a day throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays as part of the Rapid Response initiative.
The service runs round the clock throughout the year to provide a quick response to any unexpected change in circumstances such as illness or when an adult over the age of 65 years needs extra support to help them stay in their own home.
The free service is provided by Perth and Kinross Council and NHS Tayside, who work closely to provide immediate help. Rapid Response provides support from a group of qualified staff, who deliver assistance at home until a long-term solution is put in place.
Social care officers, district nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists are among those that are called upon. Help on offer includes personal care, assistance with meals and prompting or administering medication.
Where necessary, a short stay in a care home can still be arranged by staff if necessary, to buy time while a means of allowing the client to remain in their own home is found.
Referrals normally come through a GP, NHS 24, ambulance staff, social workers, district nurses and other professionals. Anyone who has concerns that a friend or relative may need additional support can call 0845 301 11 20 for advice, or e-mail AccessTeam@pkc.gov.uk
PKC’s housing and health convener Dave Doogan declared: “It is very important for older people and their carers to be aware of the Rapid Response service.
“This is an excellent initiative that is the result of very close partnership working between ourselves and NHS Tayside. We know that the majority of our service users want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, leading productive and independent lives.
“The re-shaping of services for older people allows us to focus on providing that kind of support to residents. People being supported in their own communities is far preferable to them being admitted to a care home or hospital for lengthy periods.”
Head of older people’s services for Perth and Kinross Community Health Partnership, Evelyn Devine, added: “Feedback from GPs who have used the Rapid Response service is positive, and shows it to be valuable as an alternative to hospital admission.”