Social workers could be drafted in to keep casualty departments moving during winter, while weekly bed-checks could be carried out at care homes.
Vulnerable people of all ages struggled last winter, with the icy weather causing a huge surge in the number of people visiting accident and emergency departments.
In Aberdeen, there was a 42% increase compared to the previous year.
During a particularly bad spell over three days in December, ARI’s A&E department recorded 338 of 849 attendances due to ice slips and trips. And despite this year’s high summer temperatures, long-range forecasts have raised fears this winter could be one of the worst for years.
So a new comprehensive winter plan has been launched to help reduce pressure on the NHS.
Chiefs will ensure there are enough on-call staff and provide training to deal with weather-related incidents.
Any GP practices that can will be asked to offer “on the day” appointments to take the strain off emergency departments.
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Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership service manager Kenny O’Brien said: “We have prepared a robust and comprehensive winter plan for consideration by the integration joint board (IJB), which has been extensively tested over the summer months.”
Under the plan – which the IJB is expected to rubber stamped – care homes could also be asked to assist in extreme winter.
Nearly 30 beds will be set aside specifically to help prevent bed-blocking, while social workers will be put into A&E departments to assist with less urgent problems.