Kirklees will receive new funding to develop a community-based urgent care service for some of some of the most vulnerable patients, including those who are frail, elderly or have multiple long-term conditions.
Local NHS, council and community service teams will work together to develop the service, which will ensure urgent health and social care support is available within two hours to help the elderly and those with complex needs remain well at home and avoid hospital admissions.
The service will also ensure people receive tailored packages of care designed to restore independence and confidence after a hospital stay, within two days.
Kirklees is one of seven national ‘accelerator’ sites which will receive a share of a £14 million national investment. The funding is part of a commitment set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to help keep older people well at home and reduce pressure on hospital services.
Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs said; “We’re delighted to have been selected as one of the national accelerator sites. This reflects the integrated approach being taken in Kirklees, where the CCGs are already working closely with partners including GP practices, Kirklees Council and community service providers.
“The additional funding will help us to deliver more care and support closer to home and reduce pressure on local hospitals. It also means that Kirklees will be amongst the first areas in the country to meet a new NHS standard for urgent community health services. “
Councillor Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Kirklees Council, said; “I am really pleased that Kirklees has been announced as one of seven pilot sites in England to be an Urgent Community Response Accelerator Site. We already work closely with our partners in the NHS, Locala and with social care providers to enable people to remain in their own homes. This announcement enables us to take this work to the next level and test out ways in which we can enhance our work to avoid people needing to be admitted to hospital by providing a rapid health and care response. We look forward to being able to share our learning nationally as part of the pilot as well as gaining insights from elsewhere in the country.”
Helen Carr, Lead Provider of Kirklees Provider Alliance, said; “Kirklees Provider Alliance is delighted to be working with partners across the borough to develop and deliver this new service. It will be a fantastic opportunity to transform urgent community response health and social care services for the Kirklees population and affords the opportunity for sharing developments across a wider footprint.”
Rob Webster, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, said; “This investment in Kirklees as one of seven national accelerator sites is good for Kirklees and for West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Improving the lives of people through ageing well and supporting more people to remain independent at home is a priority to us all.
“This investment will support the testing out of new approaches, including faster access to community services for older people with an urgent need. Any learning will be adopted by the Partnership to support thousands more people and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. This is linked to the other ‘ageing well’ programmes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and demonstrates the power of partnerships.”
Ruth Holt, responsible for the Ageing Well Programme for the NHS in North East and Yorkshire, said; “It’s fantastic to see services in the community getting the attention they merit. This initiative in Kirklees provides a genuine opportunity to do something different when caring for people facing a health crisis at home.
“The NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensuring we work collaboratively so that all people in England get the right community care, in a timely manner when they need it most.”
Case Study – Rapid Response Service, Kirklees
Mrs Clough was unwell in hospital and after being discharged to go home, cried when she saw her front door as being back at home was such a comfort. Her family were anxious about how she would manage as she was unsteady and would struggle going up and down the stairs.
Mrs Clough eventually contacted Kirklees Council to enquire about the support available. She was referred to rapid response and within hours, had the support she required. “It was wonderful. I was assessed and given equipment to help me such as a walking aid. Rapid Response staff came three times a day and helped me with personal care, meals and preparing for bed on an evening. They gave me so much reassurance and confidence,” she said.
To aid her, the therapist arranged for a hand rail to be fitted within a week which gave Mrs Clough confidence when going up and down the stairs. She also had a bath lift put in place which was a massive help. “As I felt better I was asked what my ambitions were. I told the therapist that I wanted to get back on the bus to Leeds,” she said.
She later received some reablement and mobility practice. She walked each day and eventually managed to get to the end of the road where she could see her mum’s old house, the house that she had grown up in. She cried as she never thought she would see it again. From there with practice, she finally got on the bus. She is now back to her full independence and going to Leeds.
“The staff were lovely, kind and caring people who always had a smile. They were so cheerful and made me feel better every day. They were wonderful!” Mrs Clough said being at home made such a difference, she had wanted to be at home and not in hospital or in care.
“There are no words to describe the difference the team has made to me being able to live independently in my own home.”