Joined up care: patients tell CCG about their experiences

Health commissioners will hear about a Bradford couple’s experiences of services following a stroke.

Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has invited Malcolm and Beccy Robinson to a meeting of its governing body, held in public, to hear first-hand how support for people leaving hospital could be improved.

Malcolm (53) was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary and later transferred to St Luke’s Hospital, after he had a stroke.

After Malcolm was released from hospital the couple were frustrated by their experience of poor co-ordination between departments within organisations and between partner agencies, and relied on their local GPs for support when trying to arrange services that would enable Malcolm to return home.

Malcolm says:
“We found what was lacking was the support to enable my care to move from hospital to home. I didn’t receive benefits for six months and struggled to get a wheelchair – my GP sorted this out at first but I still had issues getting an electric wheelchair.

“Where I think the system lacks is, when you suffer a stroke, the communications and support networks need to be there from day one so things are joined up.”

Beccy, who gave up her career as a nurse after her husband’s stroke, cares for Malcolm full-time. She found that she was often required to repeat the same information to a number of different people, sometimes in the same organisation, and that others failed to call back when promised.
“I am lucky that Beccy is a nurse – she knows how to look after and care for people and she’s determined that she’s going to carry on looking after me,” said Malcolm. “But not everyone is in the same situation and we have to think about people who may be on their own, and change things.”

Beccy and Malcolm will talk to the CCG’s governing body about the need to draw together packages of care and to improve communication between hospitals, GPs, the Stroke Association, social care and the Benefits Agency.

A spokesman for Bradford City CCG said:
“Integrating services is a real priority for us as we know that joined-up, responsive services can help people to feel properly supported, and get better quickly after being in hospital. Where services work well together, unnecessary hospital admissions can also be prevented.

“Integrated health and social care teams bring together many of the relevant professionals and services into single team, with single processes, records and infrastructure and avoid the need for patients and their carers to repeat information to different people.

“Hearing first-hand about Malcolm and Beccy’s experiences of current services will help us to design integrated services to provide joined up care for people in Bradford.”

Bradford City CCG’s governing body is holding its meeting in public at Unit 23, Carlisle Business Centre, 60 Carlisle Road, BD8 8BD, on Wednesday 1 May at 1pm. The agenda and associated papers are available on the meetings section.

If you would like to tell the CCG about your experiences please contact us. Local people can also become members of their practice patient participation group or get in touch with Healthwatch Bradford and District .