Friday, May 25, 2018

North Cumbria approved for Integrated Care System pilot.

Health and care leaders in West, North and East Cumbria are celebrating the inclusion of the area in a national pilot which has been described as a "historic step" to link up health and care services and enable them to work together to improve care for patients and communities.

North Cumbria Health and Care System has been confirmed by NHS England as part of the next wave of Integrated Care Systems (ICS). It gives the green light for further integrating some health and care services across artificial organisational boundaries, which is meant to make it easier for teams to work together and reduce the "I can't do that, it's someone else's job" syndrome.

Professor John Howarth said,

In all of my 35 years working in the health service in Cumbria, I’ve dreamt of creating an integrated care model, we can now seize the opportunity to collaborate across the system to improve the wellbeing of our communities.

In this short video Chief Executive Stephen Eames talks about the new system.

Examples of how working as an Integrated Care System will help organisations work together should help improve the care offered to patients include:

➤ A new Delirium Service at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital.
This helps patients at risk of becoming confused during their stay in hospital which can affect over 40 per cent of hospital inpatients. Delirium is mental confusion which can sometimes occur when people are unwell and has a number of causes such as infections, dehydration and pain; but with the right support it can be managed or even avoided. The service is the first of its kind in the UK and has been co-produced by mental health specialists and clinicians from across the North Cumbria Health and Care System with input from patients and carers. The team has seen over 3000 patients since it launched the service in January.

➤ Home First Teams, which are made up of physiotherapists and occupational therapists from both the community and acute trusts, linking closely with adult social care and the voluntary sector, and are based at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven. The teams are based in Accident and Emergency departments, assessing older patients when they arrive to see if they can remain at home with some extra support. Many hospital stays can be safely avoided if the right support is in place at home. 250 admissions have been avoided in the first six months.

➤ A new Advice and Guidance system helping GPs work with hospital consultants has helped prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and referrals. It offers a secure on-line service where GPs can contact secondary care doctors in several clinical specialities for advice about patient care.

Feedback about the service to date has been very positive including one GP who said: “I have had numerous success stories - the quick, helpful advice I have received has really benefited my patients who have received quicker treatment as a result, more relevant tests, less unnecessary testing done in primary care and numerous referrals that I would have made have not been necessary.”

Local clinical and social care teams have also teamed up to offer free health and wellbeing MOTs within communities. The events include check-ups to measure individuals’ physical health and functional fitness and help start conversations about individual needs. The teams can also signpost to local voluntary and third sector support.

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