New joined-up service aims to reduce hospital admissions among care home residents

GPs from the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups are launching a new co-ordinated service to improve care for elderly people in residential homes and to reduce the number of emergency hospital admissions.

The group, which covers Reading as well as Wokingham and West Berkshire boroughs, hopes that the Care Home Community Enhanced Service (CES) will improve the quality of medical care with the aim of cutting hospital admissions among residential and nursing care residents by a quarter.

The initiative has been developed following national evidence indicating that increasing medical input to care homes can reduce hospital admissions. It will focus on developing clear lines of communication between care homes, residents and GPs and establishing faster access to community health services, including district nurses, specialist nursing and other health professionals.

The service will entail the development of an individual care plan, known as a Supportive Care Plan (SCP) for each resident which will be coordinated by their GP. The plan will bring together a comprehensive assessment of the resident, including ongoing medical, social and nursing plans.

The GP Out-of-hours providers will also be able to access the care plans so that they have the necessary information to inform clinical managements outside the usual operating hours.

Katie Summers, Director of Operations of Wokingham Clinical Commissioning Group who is leading the commission of CES for Berkshire West, said: “The medical dependency of older people is increasing so this service aims to provide effective medical input to both residential and nursing homes.

“For people living in care homes, an emergency admission to hospital can be very distressing. Sometimes this can be prevented if the person gets the right treatment early enough.

“As well as enhancing the level of GP care, there are also benefits to providing a proactive approach to developing residents’ healthcare goals. We believe this initiative demonstrates that the improved communication between GPs and care homes will have far-reaching benefits to the level and quality of care across Berkshire West. Feedback so far has been positive and GPs have welcomed having extra time to spend with residents and staff.”

Last modified on Monday, 14 July 2014 10:57