STRUCTURE: Cheshire East council has launched the second of four planned Skilled Multi Agency Response Teams, as part of a programme to improve the integration of community health and social care in the area.

A statement released by the local authority said that by referring patients to the SMART teams, GPs would be able to give patients access to social care workers, occupational therapists, assistive technology staff, and district nurses and community matrons “under the same roof”.

The second SMART team was launched a week ago in Macclesfield’s Blue Zone development and also features intermediate care, it stated. There are a further two SMART teams being developed in Crewe and Wilmslow. The first SMART team in Cheshire East opened up in Congleton at Riverside in late summer.

“An example of how SMART teams can improve patient care is if a district nurse visits an elderly person and identifies any social care concerns, then the nurse can inform the social care worker operating within the same team,” the statement said.

“Before the SMART teams existed, the nurse would have made several calls to different teams to identify the appropriate social care worker, so costing time, effort and a delay in patient care.”