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Gloucestershire new care initiative to reduce hospital stays is supporting care home residents at Lilian Faithfull Care

Local charity Lilian Faithfull Care has been working closely with a new service provided by Gloucestershire Care Providers Association (GCPA) to keep any hospital stays for care home residents to a minimum. 

The teams at Lilian Faithfull Care liaise closely with NHS rapid response services and GP surgeries to keep residents out of hospital.  However when a hospital visit is unavoidable the new ‘trusted assessors’ Netty Wyndham-Wade and Kate Counter at GCPA can quickly be by a resident’s bedside in hospital, giving immediate feedback on the situation, acting on behalf of our care homes.

During a hospital stay the ‘trusted assessors’ may visit a resident several times which can give great reassurance to residents and their families.  They are key in ensuring a swift discharge and smooth transition back to their residential or nursing home.

Ensuring a hospital stay as short as possible is particularly important for residents’ recovery. As Professor Brian Dolan, quoted in the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care excellence) guidelines, explains;

“For every 10 days of bed-rest in hospital, the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing occurs in people over 80-years old….”

This potential level of deterioration can have a huge impact on a resident’s quality of life; for example it could be the difference between being mobile or not.  Therefore everything the trusted assessors do in helping to implement a swift and safe discharge back to the care home has a significant impact on a resident’s rehabilitation. 

Suzanne Booker, Director of Care at Lilian Faithfull Care explains; “The trusted assessors have quickly become a valuable asset to the charity. They are an independent conduit between our care homes and the hospital, giving a holistic picture of any hospital stay. They are excellent at ensuring a good discharge, bringing our residents safely home back to their familiar environment. They put the resident’s needs first at all times.” 

The GCPA project has been modelled on successful programmes elsewhere in the country. Currently the GCPA project has two assessors, Kate, a registered nurse for over 35 years and Netty with over 35 years’ experience in adult social care. They have direct access to the electronic patient records in hospital and liaise with the medical teams to give updates to care homes on their residents’ situation, freeing up care home resources. The trusted assessors do not make clinical decisions or influence the situation but they gather information from their independent and experienced standpoint.

All care home providers in Gloucestershire can access their expertise and they hope as the benefits of the project are seen in action the project will expand.

Vickie Rabjohns, Operational Lead at Royal Court adds; “The trusted assessors are our ‘eyes and ears on the ground’ when one of our residents has a hospital stay. We know they are making sure that they have a good discharge with all  paperwork, equipment, medication and referrals in place.  This ensures we can prepare and have in place any changes needed in their care, settle them back into their familiar environment and start their rehabilitation.”

To find out more contact the GCPA trusted assessors on 07354 842328 or email ta@gcpa.co.uk

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