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Help to get home from hospital over festive season

Additional social care services are to be provided over the festive period to help hospital patients return home sooner. 

Durham County Council and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) are working with their partners to provide services during out of hours periods and over Christmas and New Year. 

It is hoped that the extra provision will minimise any disruption for patients, enabling them to leave hospital as soon as possible after they are ready to be discharged. 

Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council's Cabinet member for adults, wellbeing and health, said: "During the winter months, the pressures on our health and social care services increase significantly but particularly so during the Christmas and New Year period when services are under additional pressure.

  "If people are delayed in leaving hospital because the services they require in order to return home are not in place then it also has an impact on waiting times for other patients. 

"That's why we're working with our partners to try and ensure that people who are able to leave hospital during this time are able to do so and that any care or support services they need are ready for them when they go home." 

The additional services are being funded with Government cash which has been allocated to local authorities to enable them to support the NHS in avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent delayed discharges during the winter months. 

From this Friday (21 December) until Wednesday, 2 January, social work teams along with reablement, intermediate care, domiciliary care and home from hospital services will be available out of hours and over the Bank Holidays to make arrangements for new patients. 

In addition, the council and CDDFT are working to ensure additional intermediate care beds are available for patients who are able to be discharged from hospital but are not yet able to return home.


Published 20th December 2018


'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital