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Nurse-led social enterprise moves into social care

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A pioneering nurse-led social enterprise is helping to redesign community and social care services to provide better and more joined up services for older patients so they can remain at home.

Your Healthcare, which was set up by former primary care trust staff in 2010, already provides NHS community services in the London borough of Kingston. It is now taking the unusual step of moving into social care, typically provided by local government.

Managing director Siobhan Clarke is a registered nurse, and there are also four other qualified nurses on the organisation’s board.

Kingston council, which currently provides social care in the area, is involving the social enterprise in a plan to cut the amount it spends on care homes, by investing instead in helping people live in their own homes.

The redesign is intended to address a problem in the borough, which sees patients discharged from hospital more likely to go into long-term residential care than in other boroughs.

The first part of the process will involve an assessment of how support services are currently provided to help people live at home post discharge. The assessment will be carried out by the council, Your Healthcare and the charity Age Concern Kingston.

The council expects this first phase will be completed in early 2012 and “fundamental changes to existing service arrangements will follow soon after”.

It is the second partnership unveiled between the council and Your Healthcare in recent weeks. It was announced earlier this month that both bodies are to set up a charitable trust, along with primary care trust NHS Kingston, to run a school.

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