Elderly and vulnerable people can benefit from a new joint health and social care service.

From this month a single team will work to provide care for residents, particularly people who are elderly, disabled or in need of rehabilitation after a temporary illness or crisis.

The Richmond response and rehabilitation team aims to provide seamless care, support recovery and help people stay independent and out of hospital, residential or nursing care.

Until now, people received separate care from health professionals and social care professionals.

The new seven day a week service will involve nurses and therapists from Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH), and therapists and social workers from Richmond Council.

It will also work with GPs and hospitals to get people discharged as quickly as possible.

The service will offer flexible support depending on the person’s wishes, needs and independence and will accept referrals.

Jo Manley, director of operations at HRCH, said: “The new service will support people in the community to help ensure they are getting the right care, at the right place and time for them and to help avoid unnecessary extra time spent in hospital.

“People should experience a smooth, effective and personal service from a team of health and social carers that focuses on what is most important to the person.”