MORE people should get to spend Christmas at home thanks to joint work between council and hospital staff.

Health and care partners across Dudley have been working closely with Dudley Council to help make sure patients with care needs are discharged before Christmas.

The council’s Assessment and Independence Urgent Care Team have worked with NHS colleagues at Russells Hall Hospital, part of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, to try to get more patients home before Christmas and to help free up hospital beds.

The scheme had achieved an extra 22 discharges as this article was published.

Councillor Matt Rogers, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We appreciate the need for our local hospitals to have bed capacity during a busy winter period and NHS staff are working incredibly hard alongside us to ensure the care needs of patients across the community are met.

“We will continue to work jointly to make sure delayed discharges are minimised wherever possible. This means more people will be back home for Christmas with loved ones and I’d like to wish them, their families and staff in the council and NHS a very Merry Christmas.”

Health chiefs have urged patients to choose services appropriately during the busy festive period. Calling 111 should be the first port of call for health needs, or 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.