Patients receive faster health and social care support
11th October 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in Better Care Fund
Thousands of patients in the city are benefiting from better coordinated health and social care support after Leicester City CCG and Leicester City Council took the decision to move important services into a shared location to remove unnecessary organisational barriers.
Before the move patients who were in crisis but not poorly enough to need acute or complex care at hospital would have received care from one or more organisations operating in isolation, leading to a disjointed and confusing service. This meant they may have had to wait for nursing care or mental health support and, as a result were often admitted into hospital needlessly.
Now, all community intensive health and social care teams are located in the same office at the Neville Centre, within the Leicester General Hospital site. These services include the Integrated Crisis Response team, community nursing, therapy and mental health teams, which allows them to work more closely together to ensure that people get the right combination of care as soon as it’s needed.
Last year the CCG and Leicester City Council invested in the refurbishment of the Neville Centre site to serve as a joint base for the Leicester City Council’s Integrated Crisis Response Service (ICRS) and Community Nursing, Therapy and Mental Health teams within the NHS.
As part of an ongoing commitment under the Better Care Fund programme, which aims to help align health and social care services to work more closely together, the decision was made relocate the teams to the same place so they could provide a streamlined service for local patients.
The Integrated Crisis Response Service provides a full range of urgent social care support for patients in crisis. The team aims to get out to patients within two hours and the team provide crisis care for the first 72 hours to keep patients safely at home and avoid an emergency admission into hospital, where appropriate.
The total number of referrals by the team from April 2015 to February 2016 was 4,794. A total of 40%, (1,940) of these patients saw two health professionals at the same time rather than having two separate visits. Previously this would not have been possible with teams being based in separate locations.
The team are currently handling over 550 calls a month from health professionals. A total of 75% of referrals made in 2015/16 needed no further intervention and avoided hospital.
Professor Azhar Farooqi, Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Now all intensive health and social care teams are located in the same office, they are able to talk to each other immediately about the care a patient needs, and in the majority of cases, practitioner’s from the teams can visit patients together, allowing them to work quicker to provide the patient with the urgent support that they need. This is one of the many positive steps we have taken to improve the integration of services so patients can be looked after in their own home or receive treatment within their community, avoiding an unnecessary hospital stay.”
Cllr Rory Palmer, deputy city mayor and chair of Leicester’s health and wellbeing board, which is responsible for the Better Care Fund in Leicester, said: “We’ve made a clear impact on preventing hospital admissions and on ensuring that people don’t have to wait for care services to be put in place when they leave hospital.
“We have 30 staff in our integrated crisis response service from the Neville Centre, providing a response within two hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We’ve also created a new dedicated team of social workers, focused on supporting discharge from hospital and building relationships with staff on hospital wards.
“Our work has already been recognised nationally and held up as an example of best practice and I am confident we’ll be able to make further improvements, despite increased demand.”
For interviews or more information please contact Liz Mattock, Communications Officer on 0116 295 4159 or email@example.com