|Elements of care should not be provided in isolation|
A project to improve care for older people in Wakefield has led to significant reductions in hospital admissions, attendances in A&E and ambulance call outs. Wakefield Care Homes vanguard, sponsored by NICE, has improved the quality of care of its residents by bringing services together, and making them more personal for older people in supported housing & care homes.
Wakefield care homes vanguard is a project that aims to tackle loneliness & fragmented care by joining up services for older people in supported housing & care homes. Until recently, those living in their own homes did not receive the same level of care as those in residential care settings. Health & care services were also not coordinated, resulting in people seeing a number of different health and social care professionals.
Consequently the project has been trialling new ways of working. It has established an enhanced primary care service, providing a named primary care professional to care home managers. It also created a multidisciplinary care home and extra care living scheme support team including therapists & nurses. The team works closely with a community geriatrician and pharmacists, and carries out comprehensive assessments of residents.
In addition, the project has developed a number of tools to help put individuals in charge of shaping their own care. These include ‘Pull up a chair’, which are video diaries the team shoots with residents of care homes and tenants in Assisted Living facilities. Developed in collaboration with Age UK Wakefield District, the videos are filmed before residents move into new homes, and once they have settled in.
The guideline recommends improving & maintaining residents’ day-to-day oral healthcare, ensuring staff are properly trained to confidently look after the oral health needs of residents, and that there is adequate access to dental services when needed.