For many of us, or our relatives, our usual place of residence may be a care home. We want to ensure that people living in Macclesfield care homes have the same level of support as those people living in their own homes. This is increasingly important as we learn to live with Covid19 and all that means in terms of our health and our social needs. In line with both national and regional priorities, Macclesfield Primary Care Network and the wider Care Community are working together to provide enhanced support to care homes, both nursing and residential, with a more proactive approach to keeping people well and cared for in their place of residence. All care homes traditionally have a named GP practice providing health care to their residents alongside input from other services, but increasingly the wider care community is getting involved and we are coordinating and streamlining the support provided.
What is the Visiting Service?
The visiting service is aimed at residential homes in Macclesfield rather than nursing homes, which already have a trained nursing workforce and provide nursing care to their residents. In order to ensure poorly residents, or residents in crisis, receive timely and appropriate intervention and support, homes are able to ring a single point of contact. At this point a skilled triage nurse can assess the referral and arrange for the most appropriate response from a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including the named GP and other health and social care teams.
We are also in the process of implementing regular Multidisciplinary Team Meetings (MDTs) as part of the visiting service; this means a more proactive approach to keeping residents well as everyone involved is able to contribute to care plans and provide early intervention when there are health and social care concerns.
What are the benefits?
The benefit for the resident is a more proactive approach to maintaining their health and wellbeing, with a quicker and more appropriate response when a health need arises. This may support people to stay at home for longer
The benefit for the residential home staff is regular access to a multidisciplinary team for advice and support with a simple and clear action plan when intervention is required.
The benefit for the wider health and social care system is a reduction of inappropriate demand on services e.g. requesting a GP visit when a Pharmacist or Nurse Practitioner would be more appropriate.
We began the Visiting service in Spring 2020 and it is currently delivered to 4 of our local residential homes. The ambition is to roll out both the single point of access and the multidisciplinary team meetings to all residential homes in Macclesfield by early 2022
We are building our team of professionals and extending the offer in the visiting service to ensure we have the capacity and the skill set to respond to all health and social care needs.
We will also be looking to support our residential home staff with training opportunities, to share learning and ensure everyone has up-to-date knowledge and skills in all areas of care