New support hub to join up care closer to home for Bradford patients


A new integrated intermediate care hub is being rolled out across Bradford to help provide health and social care closer to home for elderly patients.

It provides a single point of access for GPs, staff in the community and other health and social care professionals to refer patients from the Bradford district into all intermediate care. This includes short-term hospital beds and services that give patients support to stay in their own homes, rather than being admitted to hospital.

The service is based at St Luke’s Hospital and run by health and social care staff who will have an overview of capacity across the district.

It has been developed jointly by NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Bradford Council’s Adult Services.

Referrals will be dealt with initially by call handlers and then experienced social and healthcare workers will make an initial decision or further assessment if required.

The multi-disciplinary team includes nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists and social workers who will have good knowledge of all services available throughout the area, including the voluntary sector, and of patient pathways.

The new hub will help to reduce any delays to care and the number of elderly people that end up coming into A&E. It will be able to provide the right services rapidly in a person’s own place of residence, either their own home or a care home, to avoid them being admitted to hospital.

Dr Richard Haddad, lead GP for integrated care at Bradford Districts CCG, said: "I'm delighted that the intermediate care hub is now live and starting to take referrals from GPs. Our aim is that it will prevent people from unnecessary admissions to hospital by providing rapid response care tailored to their needs - so they can stay at home and maintain their independence.

"It could save someone the stress of ending up in hospital when they simply don't need to be there; we can bring the expertise to them and help many people with complex health needs to feel settled and safe in the knowledge that they are being cared for by a team that knows, and can address their needs."

Lead nurse (virtual ward) for Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Andrea Allanach said: “Research tells us that when it comes to treating older people, the best place to care for them is in the comfort of their own homes.

“This new hub represents an exciting development in elderly care as it brings together health and social care professionals from across the district in one centre, all working together for the benefit of our patients, with the overall aim of providing a co-ordinated, personalised service which prevents needless emergency admissions to our hospitals. This leaves our beds free for those most critically ill.”

Lyn Sowray, assistant director of operational services at Bradford Council, said: “The intermediate care hub is the outcome of working together across social care and health in order to provide a person-centred response to crisis, so that we offer the best opportunities to elderly people in the district.”

There are several pathways that are offered via the hub: people can be directed for social care rapid response home care to help them stay at home, or they may need a community intermediate care bed or a local authority bed. Some people may also be supported by the hospital’s ‘virtual ward’, which offers consultant-led care.

People referred to the hub will have support plans put together about their nursing and therapy needs. They will then be regularly reviewed and social services involved if needed. When a patient no longer needs the service they may be referred on for longer term help and support at home, discharged from the service completely or referred for assessment if they need longer term residential or nursing care.