£1.1 million cash boost to improve the health of care home residents

A local team of partners from the NHS, local authorities, care homes, technology, voluntary sector and academia has been given £1.1m to help transform the way health and care is delivered across England.

The money has been given to Airedale & Partners, as one of the selected ‘enhanced health in care home vanguards’ for the new care models programme, which is playing a key part in the delivery of the Five Year Forward View – the vision for the future of the NHS.

Vanguards are leading on developing care models that will act as blueprints for the future of the health and care system in England.

The money is part of a national £200 million NHS transformation fund.  Vanguards are also receiving practical assistance as part of a package of national support announced in the summer to enable them to make the changes they need at pace.

Airedale & Partners aims to improve the health of residents in care homes and brings together more than a dozen organisations from health and social care services, care home providers, technology specialists, voluntary sector and universities to redesign care across Airedale, Bradford, Craven, Wharfedale and East Lancashire.

The scheme will extend the telemedicine service to 248 care homes providing immediate access round-the-clock to expert opinion and diagnosis, where appropriate. If care home staff have concerns about their residents they can get remote care and advice from an experienced nursing team based in a Hub, at Airedale Hospital, who will use a secure video link to assess them.  The scheme will support individual independence and improve the quality of life of residents by focusing on proactive rather than responsive care and delivering more specialist services into care homes. For residents, this will improve their experience of health and care services and could mean, for example, fewer trips to hospital; access to services closer to home and a tailored personal service that is more responsive and reduces duplication.

Helen Bourner, programme director for Airedale & Partners Enhanced Health in Care Homes Vanguard, said: “We are delighted that we have been allocated funding and practical support from NHS England that will help us to improve the health and quality of life of residents in care homes. We are also committed to sharing our work and best practice so that other communities can benefit from our learning.”

Dr Sohail Abbas, GP at Kensington Partnership and lead for long-term conditions with Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This  funding  means that we will be able to move more rapidly in the roll out of our Complex Care System which is designed to support Bradford residents including people in care homes who require intensive support to keep them well."

Dr Andy Withers, Chair of Bradford Districts CCG said: “It is great news for the people of Bradford that through the Vanguard initiative we will be able to install telemedicine in all our care and nursing homes. Having access 24 hours a day to experienced nursing staff to provide advice and support will mean that fewer frail elderly care home residents will need to travel to hospital.”