RICHARD WATSON is acting as a Patient Representative to gather views and concerns regarding the provision of integrated health and social care services for patients in Holderness. This detailed article looks at Neighbourhood Care Teams and appeals for comments to be sent to Richard by Monday 18th June 2012:
NEIGHBOURHOOD CARE TEAMS (NCTs) include NHS and Local Authority Social Services staff aiming to provide multi-disciplinary, integrated and streamlined care closer to, and at, a patient’s home. They have close links with GP practices in primary care, supported by more specialist teams catering for respiratory and other such conditions.
A key objective is to avoid patients being admitted to hospital for minor ailments (unless necessary) by providing a rapid response to problems and, for those requiring admission, providing rehabilitation services to enable patients to be discharged from hospital earlier. A reduction in the number of separate GP appointments for individual long-term conditions by integrating the records of the various health professionals is a further objective which would not only be in a patient’s interest, but should also save expenditure in ‘joined-up’ provision.
Establishment of NCTs in East Yorkshire followed from the Department of Health’s 2006 white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say and its Community Services Strategy promoting care closer to home, a key item of discussion when the future of hospitals in Holderness was debated at that time.
Steering Group: The GP Practices in Holderness have identified improving the efficiency of NCTs to deliver community health and social care for patients with long-term health conditions in the locality as their top priority in the light of resources currently available and past experience in the area.
Together with representatives of East Riding of Yorkshire PCT, Humber NHS Foundation Trust and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, as well as from GPs, Practice Managers and Modern Matrons, a Steering Group has been formed to address the priority. Richard Watson, Chair of the Patient Reference Group of the South Holderness Medical Practice with surgeries at Withernsea, Patrington and Roos has also been asked to serve, as patient representative.
Request for Comments: Richard is keen to ensure that the views and concerns of patients currently and potentially requiring long-term care are put before the Group. He has already asked Practice Managers in Holderness to contact members of their respective Patient Reference Groups for views and opinions and this is ongoing. Readers of HU12 Online are also welcome to express their opinions and Richard can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com.
Bearing in mind that it is long-term care provision that is being considered, and to initiate thoughts:
- How can the joint service of health requirements involving GPs, community nurses and therapy staff (possibly daily visits?) together with social care provision by the local authority, be better managed and between what hours of the day should the service be available?
- Should the service be led by, for instance, community matrons or by GPs or by the local authority?
- How should the out-of-hours doctor service be involved?
- The confidentiality of patient records available to a wider group of providers and how these are accessed might be another consideration.
E-mail addresses or other personal information that might be included in a response will not be disclosed to the Steering Group or any other third-party unless it is stated that views should be attributed to the responder. The Steering Group next meets on 28th June 2012, so responses would be appreciated by Monday 18th June to enable Richard to prepare them for that meeting – but the earlier the better of course!
Further information: Just Google Neighbourhood Care Teams and see what comes up. More information on the provision of NCTs in the East Riding and elsewhere is available. What is required now is to address how services in Holderness can be provided.
Richard thanks everyone for their assistance.