The Board received an update from the Strategic Director, People and Economy, on the clinical service development. The Chairman introduced Professor Bhowmick from Warrington and Halton Hospital Foundation Trust, (WHHFT) who addressed the Board and assisted in presenting the item.
It was reported that as part of the wider Health and Wellbeing agenda, the local statutory and independent sector organisations were committed to developing more services in the Borough which supported clinical diagnostics and assessment in or closer to people’s homes. The development of the Urgent Care Centres was a key example of how this intention was delivered in practice bringing together a range of health and social care organisations.
The Board was advised that older people became unwell for a variety of complex reasons and sometimes required hospital attendance or admission for consultant led diagnostics and assessment. Further, moving older people out of their home environment to a hospital, particularly frail older people aged 75+ posed a number of significant issues and risks to their health and wellbeing, including disorientation, confusion, falls, functional decline and risk of hospital acquired infection. Finding clinically suitable alternatives to hospital was therefore important for this group.
Members were advised that the Rapid Access and Rehabilitation Service had operated in the Borough for over 13 years. The team comprised non-medical professionals from health and social care and worked with adults and older people who required assessment, treatment, care and support with the aim of preventing hospital admission and reducing the length of hospital stay. The service worked with people in their own homes and also within dedicated intermediate care beds located within the Borough.
It was noted that in collaboration with Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the service was enhancing its model of care with the addition of a Care of the Elderly consultant. This model would be designed to deliver rapid, higher level diagnostics and assessment for referrals from the primary care team.
In response to Members’ queries it was noted that the development of the service was well advanced and staff were being trained on actual patients in their homes. It was planned that referrals would be accepted from end of November / beginning of December.
RESOLVED: That the contents of the report be noted.