New model of care for Portsmouth aims to provide more services in community

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PLANS have been drawn up to improve the way healthcare is delivered and see more agencies working together to reduce the number of hospital admissions.

Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) primary care commissioning committee went through proposals to implement a multi-speciality community provider (MCP) for the city.

We are looking at how the NHS needs to adapt, and we are getting on with the job of making those changes.

Dr Linda Collie

The aim is to support people with their health but also try to prevent ill health to ease demand on services in the future.

Some changes have already been made including offering more options for out-of-hours services and thinking of new ways to support vulnerable people in their own homes.

The report said: ‘Over the next five years, with all the health and care patients in the city, we propose to change the way we offer services.

‘To achieve this will mean bringing together some existing services, providing other services at scale, embracing technology and ensuring people only go to hospital to receive care that can only be done in an acute setting.

‘Development of this model will enable a new integrated service and ensure the community in Portsmouth is more effective in preventing admissions to hospital as well as ensuring a robust “home-first” community-based approach.’

Dr Linda Collie, chief clinical officer for Portsmouth CCG, said: ‘The NHS in our city – like health services everywhere — needs to change. With more and more older people, rising demands, shortages of key staff, and limited resources, it is simply not realistic to think that “more of the same” is either sensible, or even possible.

‘Given that, we are looking at how the NHS needs to adapt, and we are getting on with the job of making those changes. We are already testing new ways of better supporting vulnerable people in care homes – it is crucial that we achieve that aim.

‘We are also finding ways to allow people to make appointments at GP practices with doctors, nurses, or other key staff, outside traditional office hours – again, we must get that right even though we all know that skilled staff are in short supply.

‘Other changes are being trialled too, such as new ways to increase the number of frail people who can – quickly – receive a home visit from a GP or other healthcare professional.’ As previously reported in The News, Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham has faced increased winter pressures and has been trying to reduce the number of medically-fit-for-discharge patients in its beds.

It has been working with partner agencies to get care packages in place sooner and Portsmouth City Council and Solent NHS Trust, which provides community care, have been working to recruit more community nurses.

It is hoped the MCP model will reduce people going into hospital but also get them discharged quicker.

Dr Collie added ‘We must bring NHS and social care teams more closely together, we must make it easier for people to get the help they need, and we must strengthen services close to people’s homes. That is a huge task, but all parts of the local health and care system are working together to achieve those ambitions.’