Hertfordshire care homes improvement project wins national support

Hertfordshire care homes improvement project wins national support

Ambitious improvement plans to transform the support for care home residents in the north and east of Hertfordshire have won national approval from NHS England today.   

The leaders of the NHS in England have announced that the proposal, put forward jointly by East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Hertfordshire County Council and the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association, has been chosen from amongst 269 bids as one of the most innovative in the country. 

This means that the four-part care home improvement programme - which health and care organisations in our area are already fully committed to - will now be able to draw on a new national £200 million transformation fund and expert help.  

The care home improvement programme will:

  • enhance the skills of care home staff through a package of education and training, so that patients with complex care needs can be looked after with confidence  
  • create teams of G.Ps, district and practice nurses, community psychiatric nurses, geriatricians and pharmacists, who will liaise closely with care home staff to support residents, working together when the health of a resident worsens
  • bring together ‘rapid response’ teams of community nurses, matrons, therapists and home-carers who can be deployed to care homes within 90 minutes, as an alternative to sending elderly patients to A&E, when that is in their best interests
  • invest in technology to allow all G.Ps to have access to comprehensive information about each care home resident when they visit them.  For the first time, this will include GP records, mental health care notes, hospital records, community health support notes and their social care history.

Dr Nicky Williams, Vice Chair of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP said:  

“Elderly care home residents are probably the most vulnerable patients I see.  They often have a range of physical, practical and mental health needs and don’t always have local friends or family members to visit them.  The good news is that there’s a real commitment in our area to ensuring that these patients have the help they need to support them to live well.  The announcement of national support for our plans is a real boost for everyone working to improve health and social care for the elderly in the east and north of Hertfordshire.”  

Sharon Davies, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Care Providers Association, said: “Care homes welcome this new initiative and the opportunity it provides to enhance the skills of care home staff to support residents with more complex needs.  Advanced training and accreditation will help to promote care work as a rewarding and worthwhile career.”

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, cabinet member for adult care and health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “The new rapid response service will build on the excellent work already being done between health and social care to support our most vulnerable older residents. By bringing our professionals together into dedicated teams we will be able to deliver better care and help to reduce the number of hospital admissions.” 

East and north Hertfordshire care home facts and figures:

  • 62 care homes in east and north Hertfordshire look after 3,000 residents
  • 2,794 visits were made to A&E from care homes in 2013/14
  • 1,744 of these patients were admitted to hospital
  • 454 of these admissions were for less than 24 hours
  • £49 million was spent by East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Hertfordshire County Council on care homes in 2012/13

ENDS

Notes to editors 

1. Led by local GPs, East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group plans, designs and buys health services for 580,000 people in Hertfordshire, and monitors the quality and effectiveness of those services.

2. For further media information from East and North Hertfordshire CCG please contact the CCG press office on 01707 369710.

3. For further media information from Hertfordshire County Council please contact the HCC press office on 01992 555787.