One-stop health shop

AXBRIDGE Surgery is set to become one of the first practices in Somerset to have social workers, physiotherapists, mental health practitioners and the Citizens Advice Bureau based in its building. The extra care workers would be able to offer patients hel

AXBRIDGE Surgery is set to become one of the first practices in Somerset to have social workers, physiotherapists, mental health practitioners and the Citizens Advice Bureau based in its building.The extra care workers would be able to offer patients help in their own homes to try to prevent hospital stays and recurring health problems, as well as help with social issues which can affect people's wellbeing.Axbridge Surgery, in Houlgate Way, which also serves patients from Wedmore, has applied to Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) to take part in the pilot study to see how well the different agencies work together.Practice manager Steve Edwards said: "The study is about integrated care, not just looking after someone from a health point of view but looking at how living conditions can impact their health."We tend to see people coming out of hospital, but going back to the same issues they had at home as when they went in. "They may need assistance at home like meals on wheels or home-help or a risk assessment in their property to prevent them from falling, but at the moment general practice nurses don't tend to see that."If all the different agencies, including hospital doctors, mental health workers, social workers, district nurses and community matrons can work more closely together we can try to eliminate that by addressing all the needs of the patient."It will be good for everybody. People will be much better off being taken care of in their own homes by their own doctors, rather than having a lengthy stay in hospital."It also frees up the hospitals to treat patients with more serious conditions and saves the health service money."Axbridge Surgery is currently getting a £500,000 extension to triple the size of its facilities.The work is due to finish in October and patients will be able to take advantage of four new consultation rooms and a variety of new services, which could include asthma, chiropody, dermatology, podiatry and physiotherapy clinics.If the PCT grants the surgery's application to take part in the study, patients will be able to take advantage of even more new services and treatments.The practice is due to hear whether it has been successful next month.


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