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Police and nurses provide joint service

PUBLISHED: 17:05 15 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:03 30 June 2010

PATIENTS in Yarmouth can raise concerns about their community while being treated by their district nurse.

Members of the community who are seen by a district nurse may also receive a visit from their police community support officer (PCSO) at the same time.

PATIENTS in Yarmouth can raise concerns about their community while being treated by their district nurse.

Members of the community who are seen by a district nurse may also receive a visit from their police community support officer (PCSO) at the same time.

The project, named Operation Comfort, offers patients a chance to talk to the PCSO, during their appointment with a community healthcare worker.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney's Community Services District Nursing Team has joined up with the police to develop this project so members of the community already being visited have the opportunity to speak about any issues they have.

Walter Lloyd-Smith, Safeguarding Adults Lead for NHS GYWCS, said: “As a community health service we often know where the vulnerable people are as we are supporting many of them, but our police colleagues are less well informed.

“The same PCSO, Caron Young, goes along for the visits and these are to any appropriate appointment. The PSCO can also follow up any concerns at a later date.

“By working in this way we are better able to pick up any concerns and then provide a very focussed and supportive response for that person.”

Patients are asked if they are happy with the PCSO joining the visit before they go into that person's home.

Mr Lloyd-Smith added: “The nurse explains to the patient about the PCSO visiting before they enter the home that it's to improve services in the community. The feedback we're getting from family members is extremely positive and they are appreciative that we've made the link with the police service.

“The project is proving a real success in the community and since it began, with the pilot three months ago, we have already had five reported crimes which would have otherwise gone unreported.”

The project has been so successful it has been shortlisted for the Diversity in Action Team Award run as part of the Norfolk Safer Community Awards at Norfolk Constabulary.

Building on the success of Operation Comfort, the project is planned to be rolled out across the whole Great Yarmouth area.

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