THANKS to a new care home scheme, thousands of pounds has been saved for the NHS.
The Portsmouth Enhanced Care Home Team pilot project involving four city care homes aimed to improve the health of dozens of vulnerable and older people to ease pressure on the hospitals.
Emphasis within the pilot homes was put on caring for people in homes, involving a core team of a GP, pharmacist, community nurses and care home staff, with a supporting team on standby when needed, such as mental health nurses and an occupational therapist.
Between April and December 2018, the initiative led to a drop in ambulance hospital journeys required by residents, a drop in hospital attendances and and a reduction in hospital admissions compared to an increase at care homes not in the pilot.
It is thought to have saved the NHS an outlay of about £80,000.
Dawn Davie, the manager of the Hamilton House Care Home at Drayton, which has been involved in the scheme since September 2018, said: ‘There are no negatives to this initiative at all. It has meant more engagement between the doctors and ourselves, which has in turn built a stronger relationship with the surgery.
‘Our residents have benefited in so many ways - from medication reviews to decisions being made about future care.’
The initiative, funded by government money to help health and social care organisations to provide new models of care, is a joint project involving NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Solent NHS Trust, the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance and Portsmouth City Council.
Dr Linda Collie, the CCG’s clinical lead, said: ‘The big difference now is that we have either nursing staff and or other clinicians and social care staff working pro-actively in the homes to review the residents’ health and medication and spot early-warning signs that might otherwise have led to a deterioration in their health - so they can be treated and looked after to prevent their condition warranting having to go to hospital.
‘This is clearly much more beneficial to the resident, especially if they don’t need to be kept in hospital, and it’s a much better and more effective service.’