PATIENTS across Wiltshire will benefit from a new scheme to help them continue living healthily at home for longer, which will also help reduce unnecessary admissions to hospitals.

The new service, jointly run by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, sees 23 new care co-ordinators based in GP surgeries across Wiltshire to help patients who have been identified as being at high risk of hospital admission.

Emily Davies, a former practice nurse in Wiltshire, has been based in St Damian’s Surgery, Melksham, and Bradford on Avon Health Centre since October 1 as a care co-ordinator.

She said: “I think the service will make a real difference to local people as we can really get to know each patient, their individual needs and what support will be valuable to them.

“We will be working with health, social care and voluntary agencies to support people to stay in their own home or be looked after in an appropriate setting, rather than hospital.”

Care co-ordinators will work very closely with the Community Nursing Teams and support patients, their families and carers to manage living with long term illnesses better, so patients are less likely to become unwell and need hospital treatment.

Dr Simon Burrell, who has a practice in Corsham and has pioneered the scheme, said: “There are lots of ways that people who are getting frailer, or who have an ongoing illness, can be helped.

“Much of it isn’t about medical care, but relates to more holistic or general support. The role of the care co-ordinator will be to match those who offer help with those who need it.”