Local NHS Community Health Trust and emergency services win national award

8 June 2023

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with South Central Ambulance Service and Hampshire Hospitals Trust have won a prestigious Skills for Health Our Health Heroes Award in the Emergency Services Collaboration category.Emergency Services.jpg

An expert panel of judges awarded Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and partners the coveted prize due to their outstanding work treating frail and elderly patients in their own homes.

Reacting to the news of their win at an awards ceremony in London Naomi Purdie, consultant nurse in frailty at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It's amazing. I'm really proud of everybody in the team. We've worked so hard over the last two and a half years to deliver excellent care to our patients. And just for everybody to be recognised for their hard work. It just makes me so proud.

“We get really good feedback from our patients using our CareOpinion platform, but this is a really good way of raising our profile for others to see what we're doing as well just so that that the good work of the team can be seen wider.”

This award-winning service was initially set up as a way of providing falls and frailty care to a large number of elderly patients who were at that time shielding from covid19 and going to hospital was too risky to their health.  By taking the skilled staff to their home to deliver care ensured that they were still able to get the treatment they needed, without adding to the risk of contracting covid19. 

Consisting of a specialist paramedic from South Central Ambulance Service and a frailty specialist clinician from Southern Health and Hampshire Hospitals, the team are dispatched in “frailty cars” which carry adaptive equipment to support and facilitate therapeutic interventions and assessments to treat patients in their own homes.

The frailty cars can be dispatched in a number of ways, via the 999 call centre, 111 call centre, referrals from GPs and we are averaging around 5 visits a day. The team typically attends to patients who have had a fall or are displaying related symptoms associated with frailty. They can assess and treat underlying illness and minor wounds, assess mobility and function, and provide appropriate equipment to enable them to remain at home safely, with wrap around support provided where needed with the hospital at home virtual ward.

John Lloyd, team leader, specialist paramedic from South Central Ambulance Service explains:

“Not only is this service ensuring that the patient receives the best care without the need to attend hospital, it is alleviating pressure on Emergency departments, providing safer care for those at higher risk of catching covid, but who were also at risk of falling and becoming immobile”

Hannah Munns, Frailty Matron at Basingstoke hospital, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are incredibly proud to have received this award acknowledging all the hard work our teams do everyday.  It can be challenging to work collaboratively but it is rewarding and the best way to meet the needs of our patients living with frailty.  This recognition will further motivate us to continue to deliver innovation everyday”

Integrated emergency care assessment has reduced repeat falls, duplicate assessment, has improved community health pathways, and 82% of those seen in the last year received all their treatment at home rather than being conveyed to hospital.

This saved the NHS £2.9m between July 2021-December 2022.

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