Merton council has promised to deliver the health and care needs of local people this winter including the Christmas period in three major ways, following last week’s council meeting at the Civic Centre,

Firstly, the Council is increasing the availability of care management and assessment. This includes hospital social workers, the hospital discharge team, and occupational therapists.

It is also ensuring that care can be delivered, and that people can be discharged from hospital safely and when they are ready.

Not only will there be capacity to assess and plan discharge at ordinary working times, but this is being increased to evenings and week-ends and is being targeted at areas where there are particular problems, like Accident and Emergency.

Finally, it is playing a full role in the Local Winter Planning Group, which includes all the local organisations who need to work together to delivering care and treatment, and includes the Health Authority, Primary Care Groups and Trusts, NHS Trusts and Social Services Department.

The arrangements will include the Christmas period, when all services will be fully open on days other than bank holidays and weekends, and there are enhanced arrangements for responding to any peaks of work outside office hours.

Councillor Judy Saunders, Cabinet Member for Care Services, said: “We are totally committed to responding to the health and care of local people this winter, especially over the Christmas period.”