Care home pilot scheme proving its worth
27 August 2019

A multi-agency scheme in four Portsmouth care homes is improving the health outcomes for dozens of vulnerable, older people – and easing pressure on the local NHS. 

Analysis has taken place on 104 residents in the first three homes that have taken part in the Portsmouth Enhanced Care Home Team pilot project, which is being expanded across other areas of the city to improve the health outcomes for vulnerable, older people.  

Data shows that in a nine-month period from April to December 2018, the project led to:

  • A fall in ambulance hospital journeys required by residents at two of the homes compared to falls in the same period by residents at homes not within the pilot
  • A drop in hospital attendances compared to an increase of in care homes not within the pilot
  • A reduction in hospital admissions, compared to an increase in homes not within the scheme.

This is conservatively estimated thought to have a cost avoidance total to the NHS of about £80,000. 

The information used to compare care homes statistics have been taken from the same nine-month period in the previous three years. 

Emphasis within the pilot homes is put on pro-active care, involving a fully integrated approach which includes 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.  

The service benefits include: 

  • improved continuity of care
  • improved patient safety through better clinical outcomes
  • increased satisfaction of residents and their carers with the service
  • a reduced in wasted/overprescribed medicines
  • better trained staff in care homes. 

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.” Dawn Davie, Manager of the Hamilton House Care Home at Drayton, which has been involved in the initiative 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.

“But the biggest benefit has been from having their care looked at by a group of people all with unique skills and experience but with the common goal of making things better for them, and we have been able to drive this forward and hope to continue to drive this forward in the future.”

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