A special round-the-clock helpline has been launched in Bo’ness to support older people with health problems and enable them to stay well at home.
Known as Ask ALFY (Advice Line for You) - it is operated by district and night nursing staff who can offer re-assurance and advice to callers as well as a number of alternative options.
These inlcude making appointments for nurses to visit people in their own homes, arranging urgent access to certain equipment and booking appointments to attend a rapid access clinic at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for a specialist review.
The pilot project has been set up after figures revealed that over the past 18 months, 48 out of 51 people in a specific target group (older people aged over 85 with dementia and/or complex health and care needs) had attended the Emergency Department at FVRH a total of 188 times.
Of these, 29 of the group were admitted to hospital a total of 76 times and 41 of the 51 had attended 283 outpatient appointments between them.
A review of these attendances showed many could have been dealt with at home with appropriate support.
The dedicated helpline (01324 567247) can be accessed by both patients and carers.