Covering Twickenham and Whitton, Richmond Primary Care Home has a large population in a busy London borough. Its vision has been to work with front line staff to help identify the needs of the frail and elderly across Twickenham and Whitton and to work with multidisciplinary teams to strengthen best practice, identify gaps and introduce innovation.
It has brought together different workforces to care better for the frail and elderly, and listened to its local community, leading to frontline signposting training and engaging local college students in a mentorship training programme at a local care home.
How things are changing
Richmond held a series of learning workshops with multidisciplinary teams and spoke to all the practices, community pharmacies, community providers and therapists gathering best practice, areas for improvement and gaps in provision. These confirmed that carers were a vital part of health and social care and they needed better links into the health care system to both primary and community care. With an estimated 25 per cent of GP appointments not needing a GP, the PCH delivered level one signposting training to receptionists and pharmacy counter assistants to assess the type of help needed for people to stay well and maintain independence. This is being evaluated to help shape future training.
The PCH has launched a nursing home carer mentor scheme after raising awareness to health and social care students at Richmond College of Further Education about careers in the health and care sector and improve their prospects. Under the carer mentor scheme, students received an induction and then attended the nursing home once a week for six weeks working alongside staff for a full working day. Each student was allocated a mentor and they were able to gain experience of what the job entailed.
There are plans to roll out an emergency transfer scheme (‘red bag’) aimed at supporting accurate assessment and transfer to hospital from care homes. The “red bag” keeps important information about a care home resident’s health, including existing conditions and medication, in one place, easily accessible for ambulance and hospital staff. This means that ambulance and hospital staff can determine the treatment they need more effectively. This clearly identifies a patient as being a care home resident which means it may be possible for the patient to be discharged sooner.
Lessons learnt included that engaging and listening to front line staff and supporting them will increase the sustainability of this programme.
Eleven practices, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare, Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group, independent care homes, Richmond GP Alliance and the Richmond Local Pharmacy Committee, voluntary organisations.