In response to the Darzi Review, High Quality Care for All, ( DoH, 2008 ) Hampshire Community Health Care (HCHC) are currently undergoing exciting new changes in order to Transform Community Services, aiming to improve the quality of care and health choices, offered to service users.
A recent example of this transformation has been opportunity for HCHC to work in partnership with a local further education establishment in Hampshire, Fareham College to improve leg ulcer management in the community. This is an exciting example of partnership working and is proving to be successful on many levels.
The Fareham Leg Care Centre was launched at Fareham College in July 2009, providing leg ulcer care for service users who would have traditionally been seen at home. The centre is staffed by the HCHC community nurses. The community nurses are able to offer full leg care assessment including Doppler assessment, evidence based wound care, well leg care and timely access to specialist nurses. The centre provides the opportunity for training and development of staff members.
Service users traditionally seen at home by community nurses are able to visit the centre, combining a health and social care need. They can enjoy refreshments and company within the centre and also make use of the college facilities which include a restaurant and hairdressers. Those who are seen at the Leg Care Centre have the opportunity to learn from each other and enjoy the company of others rather than being on their own, in their own home.
The centre provides the health studies, sixth form and access students with a chance to gain experience within a real working environment, with a variety of health care professionals with different backgrounds, passing on their experiences to the students. The students can undertake a number of different tasks, such as meeting and greeting patients, answering the phone, making tea and coffee for the service users, making appointments and gaining hands on experience which they cannot obtain in the classroom. It provides a fantastic forum for both old and young to mix together.
Although still too early to quantify success, early signs are showing that healing rates are well within the expected time frame for ulcer healing and service users are enjoying the experience.
John Clements BSc (Hons), PGCE FE Lecturer in Health and Social Care, Fareham College, Hampshire,
Abigail Barkham RGN, Dip PHCN, BSc (Hons), PhD Student, Community Matron, Hampshire Community Health Care