Wards scheme set up in North-east

So-called virtual community awards are being introduced across the North-east.

Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s integrated joint board approved the innovative scheme for the next three years.

The wards will be phased in with the proposed addition of rapidly accessible home carers, community nurses, care managers and medical diagnostics.

At its first meeting, the board agreed £5million of funding which will see virtual community wards set up initially in Insch, Kincardine and Mearns, Aboyne, Banchory, Turriff, Macduff, Kemnay and Peterhead.

The ward is a method by which health and social care services can be integrated around the needs of individuals at risk.

It creates a system which can rapidly identify and meet the needs of individuals who have acute illness, exacerbation of chronic illness, terminal phase of an illness or complexity associated with social care needs.

Most, but not all, will be elderly, and will often be frail.

The ward is based around a local area in most cases defined by a GP practice patient population.