Whilst our Chief Executive Joe Rafferty is on holiday I have been given the opportunity to write this week’s blog and put a focus on our community physical health services. Following my two years as the Chief Operating Officer for the Specialist Learning Disabilities Division in Mersey Care, about ten months ago I moved over to become the Chief Operating Officer for our Community Services Division.
I have worked for the NHS for over 24 years and a large part of that was working on the front line as a Registered Nurse. I bring the values associated with my profession and the focus on our patients and staff to this new role. It has been a privilege to visit our front line staff across a diverse and wide breadth of the community services we deliver across the city. These include sexual health, specialist dental, equipment, integrated nursing, therapies, urgent and intermediate care including Ward 35 and children and young people’s services to name but a few.
In acquiring the community services, Mersey Care now provides services for people from pre-birth to end of life. This is a significant change to the previous offer and a great opportunity to ensure better outcomes and experiences for the people we serve.
Collaboration and Integration
Mersey Care and the work of the Provider Alliances put community services right at the heart of the health and care system. There’s a real drive towards patients receiving care closer to home and a greater focus on prevention. With this in mind the community services staff consultation and redesign which started in April 2019 was timely. It provides a unique opportunity to improve patient care and outcomes, meet the needs of the communities we serve and ensure our staff are supported to deliver perfect care and work at the top of their licence.
It’s been a challenging, busy but exciting time: we are in the midst of moving from a locality service delivery model to working in service lines which are aligned to neighbourhoods and Primary Care Networks. The voices of staff echoed through the consultation that redesigning community services was the right thing to do for our patients and for our staff. The redesign aims to be completed by autumn 2019 ahead of the winter. This will support our staff and services to be ready and prepared for the associated system wide pressures and once again the Trust will have more robust winter plans in place, building on the excellent work from last year.
Looking ahead there are many opportunities to join up and integrate services to make a real difference and ensure the services we provide are fit now and also for the future. Integration will address the current fragmentation of services, reduce the number of patient referrals and enable better coordinated and more continuous care for children, young people and adults.
Some of the early examples of integration include physical health services delivered within the Life Rooms, ICRAS working as part of a system approach to avoid hospital admissions and promote early discharge. Soon we will start to see the benefits of the new Integrated Care Teams (ICTs) who will care for people as a whole, rather than separating them out into their problems and conditions; they will focus on the health of whole communities rather than just focus on treating illness, and work towards prevention and health promotion.
Donna Robinson the Local Division Chief Operating Officer and I are working together with our Divisional Teams and the Executive Team on the planned integration of the community and local division. This aims to unite primary care, social care, community physical and mental health services and the voluntary sector in the spring of 2020. It is important that the people who use our services, our clinicians and our front line staff are central to the planning and implementation of this – look out for events to shape this in the coming months.
Award Winning Teams
It’s always a pleasure to share good news within our Division and showcase our services and the difference they make the patients and their families. Let’s start with the Sefton Diabetes Team: last week they were awarded with the Quality Institute for Self Management Education and Training accreditation for the delivery of structured education programmes (on behalf of SSCCG) for people living with Type 2 diabetes.
The use of digital technology to empower and support patients to stay well is so important and high on the agenda in the NHS Long Tem Plan.
Congratulations to the Telehealth team who recently picked up the Digital Enhancement Award at the Cheshire and Merseyside Digit@LL Awards. Did you know around 8,000 patients use this service to help manage their long term conditions and the health technology hub team successfully manage over 1,000 patients every day?
Well done to the Practice Nurse Development Team who have been shortlisted for a Nursing Times Award in the Team of the Year category. In September members of the team will go to London and deliver a presentation and Q and A session to a panel. The award ceremony takes place on 30 October 2019 so watch this space!
Following on from Amanda Oates’ blog last week, I would also like to remind staff of our commitment to civility and respect. We want to support people who have been upset, distressed or worse as a result of the behaviour of others. Please take a moment to complete the civility survey so we can get valuable data. We’ve also just released module one of Just and Learning Culture - sharing what and why a Just and Learning Culture is important for NHS trusts to consider: https://www.merseycare.nhs.uk/justandlearning/story_html5.html?lms=1
Please remember you can call our Guardians on 07867 341 050 or 07881 002 626 for advice.
Community Services Division Chief Operating Officer and Director of Integration