Following the recent public consultation around the community services developments, the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust attended a meeting with the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 8th October to present the findings of the consultation. The full report and the presentation are available at the link below.
In summary, the consultation focused on four key proposals:
To have five core community hubs or clinics across the county – Bromsgrove, Worcester City, Wyre Forest, Malvern and Evesham. These would provide a range of inpatient, clinic-based and home-based treatments for patients and further accommodation options would be identified as appropriate.
A single point of referral for all community-based treatment will give referrers a single access point into community services and deliver equity and consistency of provision
A revised referral criteria to ensure patients receive the right treatment in the right place at the right time
A care co-ordinator assigned to every patient
From the beginning of July through to mid-September, the Trust undertook a comprehensive consultation exercise. A number of approaches were taken to allow patients, carers and their representatives to give their views.
Overall, there was support for the proposals. Many felt these developments would offer joined up services, shorter waiting times and greater flexibility. However, a number of other key themes emerged. They are listed in full in the report but, in summary, called for home visits to be retained for some patients and services; for patient centred services; for a care co-ordinator system that is well managed, staffed and resourced and for consideration to be given to the physical space of the clinics and transport issues.
The Trust has heard these views and is currently working on the options around transport and will be reviewing this further at the end of October. Once this is finalised, some patients will begin to be invited to attend clinics where it is clinically appropriate for them to do so. There will be more communication about this over the coming weeks.
If you contributed to the consultation the Trust would like to thank you for doing so. If you would like to read the full paper and see the presentation you can do so by clicking on the link below:
For More Information
Trust seeks views on community services
Engagement Statement 30 September 2014
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust provide a range of nursing and therapy services which are delivered in community settings, many in patient’s own homes.
The Trust is developing a project to ensure that care is provided in the most clinically appropriate place for everyone, that staff get to spend more time seeing their patients face to face, and at the same time reduces the overall cost of providing these services.
Plans would provide the community teams with the opportunity to come together in hubs to promote better integration. There would be five community hubs or bases across the county which will provide the majority of inpatient and clinic-based activity. Home visits would still be provided where clinically appropriate. Staff would also continue to maintain strong communications/presence with stakeholders such as GP’s to maintain vital working relationships.
Based on some feedback the Trust believes there could be real benefits in providing more treatment in a clinic; for example patient access to more complex equipment, reduced waiting times, more time spent with nurses, and a more socially interactive experience for patients. The theory behind this project is already being used in some areas. For example Well Leg Clinics, or leg clubs, are run in some parts of Worcestershire which specialises in caring for and preventing leg ulcers. Chronic leg conditions are associated with isolation and patients can now visit the clubs or clinics rather than have a home visit, so they can meet others in a similar position to them. Staff get to see more people in the clinic rather than travelling from home to home.
The feedback from those who attend the leg clubs is overwhelmingly positive, with many citing the social aspect as key in improving the overall experience of treatment. But the Trust wants to engage with more people, including those patients who currently receive a home visit, their families/carers and other people who have an interest, to see whether more clinic-based treatment might be appropriate for more people.
The project is planned to be rolled out in phases over the next couple of years, with Redditch and Bromsgrove up first. A questionnaire has been developed and is being handed to all current patients who are on the caseloads of Redditch and Bromsgrove community nursing teams, and an electronic version is available online. Responses should be submitted or sent back before the 14th September.
Dr Ian Douglas, from Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “I believe it is appropriate that we explore whether this change in where we provide care to some of the patients that our community staff see is the right way forward. Everyone working in the NHS understands that because the cost of health care rises all the time local NHS teams needs to explore how it can do things differently. I know that there are some people who are seen at home by members of my team who also go to see their GP at the local surgery or go to see their Consultant at the hospital.
“Patients may get more out of a visit to a clinic in comparison to being seen at home because they may see more than one professional when they are at the clinic and as a result more problems can be sorted out there and then. I think we also underestimate how much support and help patients can get from meeting other patients who are facing the same problems and challenges that they are facing.
“For some people and their families there will be the inconvenience of getting to the clinic but this needs to be weighed up against the potential benefits not only for the person themselves but also for the people who are too unwell to leave their homes under any circumstances. These people may not currently be seen as often as they could be because professionals are spending time travelling to see patients who do not really need to be seen at home.”