SOCIAL care practitioner Christine Cuthbert has been singled out for praise for her work preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

She has enabled more people to return home quicker with the care and support they need, and her innovative approach to social care was this week cited as an example of national best practice by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The healthcare watchdog recognised the positive impact made by Christine, who works for the IW Council, since she joined the emergency department and medical assessment unit (MAU) at St Mary's Hospital.

Christine, who has been based at the hospital since January, said: "Working in the emergency department and MAU has had a huge impact.

"By being involved at an early stage in a patient's care, I can provide personalised support and lay the necessary foundations to ensure they can return home at the earliest opportunity, avoiding the need for a hospital admission.

"I’m able to provide support to them, and their families, at a time when they need it."

Christine works as part of a multidisciplinary team which also includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses and doctors.

Her tasks involve completing assessments, mental capacity and best interest assessments, as well as constructing care plans and packages to meet the needs of service users and carers.

Of the 120 patients Christine supported between January and April, 67.5 per cent returned home quickly, avoiding the need for a hospital bed.

As a result of her role, the hospital as also gained one full-time nurse.

Cllr Clare Mosdell, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: "As a health and care system, the council, the IW NHS Trust and the Clinical Commissioning Group have been focused as one on doing all we can to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

"I know our trust colleagues have been delighted with the positive impact that having a social care practitioner permanently based in hospital has had on getting people straight home after they have been attended to by the clinicians."

Christine's work has been highlighted as part of a series of case studies published by the CQC showcasing what providers have done to take a flexible approach to staffing.

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