Gearing up for a busy winter demand
Medics are gearing up for 40,000 patients to turn up at hospital doors for emergencies in Ayrshire this winter.
The health service also expects increased demand on care homes during the cold spell. And there will be pressure on care at home services.
The Scottish Government granted NHS Ayrshire and Arran £ 696,460 funding to cope with seasonal demand.
The health board’s winter plan report said: “Acute hospitals anticipate 40,000 unscheduled care presentations over the winter period collectively at combined assessment units and emergency departments.”
A health board spokeswoman said in a statement: “Our winter plan provides assurance that the whole health and care system in Ayrshire and Arran has worked together to adequately meet the predicted seasonal demands of winter.”
But Crosshouse and Ayr Hospitals face the colder months with dozens of fewer beds.
Forty two beds have been shut in Ayr. And at least 54 have gone at Crosshouse out of a total of 89 due to close. The health board says they are no longer needed with more care taking place in the community instead.
Commenting on the move, the spokeswoman said: “We are focusing more on the redesign of speciality wards in both Ayr and Crosshouse and increasing capacity in the community, so that people can remain at home rather than come into hospital.”
She described the redesign of beds as a “priority action.”
The board is pouring £ 2.5million annually into “intermediate care and rehabilitation” to improve support to patients at home. And additional social workers will be on hand to support people being discharged at the weekend and evenings. The board has commissioned 10 NHS- funded care home places for those being discharged from hospital with complex needs.