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Lancashire social enterprise pilot reduces ‘bed blocking’ at nearby trust

  • 4 Comments

A social enterprise providing nurse-led care and therapy in Lancashire has decreased patient length of stay at a nearby trust through a pilot scheme which focusses on continuing care assessment at home.

Community interest company Spiral Health said that over its 16-week trial it delivered 198 points of contact in patients’ own homes, which resulted in freeing up 255 bed spaces at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust.

The company said this was equivalent to the hospital saving £70,000. In addition, it said it had saved £50,000 over the same period at its own centres, where it also implemented the pilot.

Nurses at Spiral Health’s three units in Bispham, Rossall and Preston have between them more than 50 beds and provide clinical and emotional support to mainly older patients following discharge from hospital.

“We know that bed-blocking is a core issue for many acute wards… Sprial Health aims to reduce that pressure”

Tracey Bush

The organisation’s new scheme, Therapy At Home, focuses on individual care assessment for people in their own homes so that treatment and physiotherapy can be targeted according to their day to day tasks.

Spiral Health said this approach meant patients were more able to manage the transition back into the community than with a standard discharge, and were less likely to be re-admitted.

Spiral Health chief executive Tracey Bush said: “We know that bed-blocking is a core issue for many acute wards and part of the original plan for Spiral Health was to reduce that pressure by offering nurse led therapy in a dedicated unit.

“What Therapy At Home offers is that, when it’s right for the patient and their needs, it can ensure they recuperate and become stronger after treatment but also become more confident in moving around the home and their local community.”

Based on the pilot’s success, the organisation hopes to extend the pilot to Fylde.

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Has anybody asked the nurses if they want to work in individuals homes they trained in hospitals and expected to be working in hospital this smacks of home care as provided by largely untrained community Care workers

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  • The fact remains that CHC checklists completed in a hospital setting are at greater risk of being inaccurate and misleading for many patients, particularly those with cognitive decline and chronic disabilities. Nurses appropriately trained to complete CHC assessments are capable of assessing patients in whatever setting they are assessed because it is a patient centred assessment of needs, ideally to be completed at at optimum point on the recovery pathway, to ensure they are an accurate reflection of usual needs.

    It is not stated that hospital nurses are being forced into the community to do this work and it is highly unlikely that this is what is happening. However, it would be an ideal secondment for professional development and sharing of skills and knowledge between the acute and community healthcare environments. CHC Nurse Assessor.

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  • In theory this sounds good. I in part agree with the previous comment. Are they recruiting nurses specifically to work in patients own homes? Or are the ward nurses being sent into the community? Are the nurses being offered training in line working? Most of us in the acute sector would agree delayed discharges and read missions are a huge problem, but I think the problems are wider than just those discussed in this article. I think social exclusion is a major problem. As human beings we are social animals, yet we discharge patients with a package of care and their only human contact is a couple of 30 minute visits a day. No one notices they are becoming dehydrated, they are lonely, bored isolated. In hospital there are people around them all day all be it very people but they are part of life, part of a community. Years ago we had day services, we discharged patients from rehab units and a couple of days a week they returned to the day unit. They were socially included, had something to look forward and could be monitored. That, in my experience has disappeared. I feel sure if we had more day service facilities we would see less readmissions. I feel quite passionate about this and could go on but will not bore everyone anymore!

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  • Is this a move towards the Buurtzorg health care model? Hope so.

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