Since the coronavirus pandemic, the welfare of the older generation has never been more in the spotlight. With approximately over 3.8 million individuals over the age of 65 now living alone, many people across the UK are concerned about the welfare of their older family members and how to support them to live safely and longer in their own homes. This goes hand in hand alongside the current pressures faced by the NHS.
Astraline, a national provider of telecare services and technology-enabled care, is at the forefront of this conversation. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Astraline has supported thousands of customers to live independently in their own home, and are now delighted to be teaming up with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) to support more people out in the community.
Following a successful regional pilot project, Astraline and their dedicated team of care operators, can now be contacted by an NWAS clinician to respond to certain calls in Cheshire on their behalf; where first aid is required instead of emergency treatment. Astraline also offer patients professional advice on how to prevent future accidents and falls in the home.
Falls remain one of the most common injuries and emergency admissions for older people in the UK, and as a result Astraline’s services and connections with the NHS have never been more important.
Carol Robertson NWAS Community Specialist Paramedic in Cheshire said about the scheme: “As a paramedic I regularly see incidents where patients have had a fall at home and often these people are not in need of life-saving emergency care and hospital isn’t the best place for them. They require basic first aid or an appropriate community service and a little help and information at home to prevent them falling again.
“Across the North West there are a number of schemes like this our clinicians can refer patients who have fallen to, providing they have consent. The aim to help patients who are at risk of falls. In this instance an NWAS clinician will determine the suitability of a patient for Astraline following a telephone assessment. Clinicians can ask Astraline’s care operators to respond to non-emergency calls outs in the community which help people who require first aid rather than immediate emergency care. This frees up our crews to respond to life-threatening emergencies.”
Joe McLoughlin, Director Astraline and Innovation, commented: “We are incredibly proud to be in partnership with NWAS and support the world-renowned NHS emergency services. We hope to roll this unique partnership out more widely across the UK, to ensure the older generation is being supported to live safely within the comfort of their homes.
“Working in partnership with NWAS and using their electronic referral information sharing system (ERISS) reduces unnecessary hospital admissions. This provides a model for other regions and clearly helps to create needed capacity within the NHS and deliver savings.
“In the current pandemic many older people have been separated from their loved ones and have had to rely on a stretched NHS for often minor incidents. I would encourage all families in this situation to consider the benefits a service like Astraline can provide, when making decisions about the future independence and wellbeing of their loved ones. Our caring and reliable services give families peace of mind and can deliver the right response at the right time.”
 Age UK – Living arrangements: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/later_life_uk_factsheet.pdf