Hospitals to treat elderly in aged care homes under new program

THE number of elderly people admitted to emergency departments could soon be reduced, thanks to a new partnership by three of Melbourne’s metropolitan health services.

Austin Hospital, Eastern Health and Northern Health have banded together to deliver a program called Residential in Reach.

The service sees residents at aged care facilities treated by medical staff in their respective homes rather than in hospital.

Eastern Health ambulatory and community services associate program director Julie Evans said there was a range of benefits.

“The residential aged care facility is their home and providing the right care in the right place for them is what we’re all about,” Ms Evans said.

“Residents get the appropriate treatment they require and avoid an unnecessary visit to the hospital.

“At the same time, it also reduces the strain on ambulance services, meaning better care for the broader community.”

Ms Evans said it was a local program for at-risk seniors.

Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network chief executive Robin Whyte said the elderly should receive the highest standard of care in the place they called home.

“The success of this program could see the service adopted right around Victoria,” she said.

The project is one of three grants funded by Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network.



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