A new Weekend Support Team has been launched in Liverpool, providing local care homes with rapid triage and clinical support during weekends to help care home residents stay safe, healthy and out of hospital over the winter period.
The NHS traditionally experiences significantly higher hospital admission rates over the winter period, because the cold weather greatly increases the risk of older people falling seriously ill, particularly those with existing complex, long-term health problems.
The new Weekend Support Team is a city-wide multi-agency response which aims to provide closer support to care home staff over weekends to help prevent unnecessary hospital attendances and admissions for their residents.
The team are providing a first point of call for all care home staff, family members and carers to access a range of health and social care services more easily over weekends, including:
In addition to launching the Weekend Support Service with a dedicated telephone support line for all care home staff, a range of other support measures are also being introduced such as additional staff training for care home staff, and better referral pathways for residents being treated over weekends.
The Weekend Support Team is commissioned by Liverpool CCG, and is being delivered in partnership between Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, Liverpool City Council, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Liverpool Royal Hospital, North West Ambulance Service and Urgent Care 24.
The Weekend Support Team will be operational over weekends throughout the winter period, and aims to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions for care home patients over weekends by at least 10% over winter 2015/16.
There are approximately 3,200 older people currently living in Liverpool’s 97 Care Homes, many of whom have complex, long-term health needs and stand to directly benefit from the scheme.
Joanne Bentley, Care Home Community Matron for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust said;
“We are delighted to be launching the Weekend Support Team because it will make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable patients in our communities this winter. Providing seven day access to community matrons and other support services for care home patients through the Weekend Support Team, will enable us to ensure high quality patient care all week round, and help many more care home residents to remain independent and out of hospital.”
Bob McGowan, Sector Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside Area, NWAS said:
"North West Ambulance Service is delighted to be a partner in this positive initiative which will provide high quality, accessible care for patients in the community. The opportunity for NWAS staff to refer appropriate patients in Liverpool to a community team for ongoing care, is not only better for the patient but can also avoid an unnecessary hospital attendance. This is particularly important during the winter months when the local health economy can be significantly challenged."
For more information visit: www.liverpoolwst.nhs.uk.