Bridging the gap between social home care and primary care provision with digital breakthrough pilot

We are excited to announce (officially, publicly, loudly) that Fosse Healthcare has launched an early deterioration pilot scheme, in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG and Birdie, and with support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network and Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub.

What a mouthful!  

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, we became one of many businesses opting to adapt and digitise our services to ensure the safety of staff and clients. With so many people dependent on us it was never an option for Fosse to close or send our staff home on furlough.

Instead, we developed an early warning system for Covid. We moved a lot of our recruitment process, training programme and staff meetings online and we implemented many, many, MANY safety precautions within our branches and for our staff out in the field.

It was during this phasing period that we began to notice that many of our new processes were producing unexpectedly positive results. Our staff and clients were safe, and in some ways we were having more contact with both than we did post-lockdown.

And we began to wonder just how far we could take this; could we have an impact not just on Fosse, but the industry?

It was at this point Fosse Healthcare Managing Director, Volt Sacco, reached out to key industry organisations with a proposal for a new pilot scheme, designed to demonstrate how technology could be used to strengthen other aspects of the care industry – specifically the communication between adult social home care and healthcare.

The significance of the pilot was recognised by the NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group and, with our missions aligned, Fosse and the CCG joined forces to form the ‘Early Deterioration in Home Care Project’.

Volt Sacco explains:

“Fosse and the CCG both wanted to understand the implications of developing a system which could be adopted throughout the industry, and used to connect care providers with GPs, emergency services and the NHS to proactively identify and treat ‘soft signs’ of deterioration before they become a larger medical concern.

“We believe that with the right tools and technology we can address potential health risks in the early stages, which we project would have a huge impact on the costs and pressure currently being experienced within the Health & Social Care System. Already, despite the pilot still being in its infancy, the benefits of this new process are apparent, and feedback from participating clients and care staff has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The main objective of the Early Deterioration in Home Care Project is to bridge the gap between homecare and primary care professionals to help them make earlier, robust decisions.

To achieve this, the Early Deterioration in Home Care Project team – consisting of a number of key industry stakeholders – has developed a thorough workflow process.

At the heart of this process, detailed observations are made by trained Fosse care staff – including blood pressure and respiration rate, for example – which are shared digitally with the care recipient’s GP using technology developed for the project by Birdie, to decide what clinical or care support they may require.

Dr Malte Gerhold, Chief Integrated Care Officer at Birdie:

“This project is a powerful example for how digital care technology can enable new ways of collaboration between social and health care professionals, and improve the lives of older people in Newark. We believe that home care has immense potential to support the NHS to provide better quality care at home and in the community, and we are excited to be part of this collaboration.”

The pilot scheme was officially launched within the Newark branch of Fosse Healthcare on March 10 and affects approximately 150 consenting care recipients. The pilot will run for up to six months in total to give the academic partners enough time to undertake their evaluations.

Volt Sacco adds:

“The backing we have had with this project has been monumental. Without a doubt its success has been a group effort and due to the support of everyone involved we have been able to launch a huge project like this in months, instead of years.”

Melanie Brooks, Corporate Director for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, concludes:

“It is exciting to hear how technology can support our care providers to spot the signs that someone’s health may be deteriorating and ensure they are getting the healthcare they need to prevent a crisis situation.

“By identifying these situations at the earliest possible stage, we are ensuring that people can continue to live as independently as possible and receive the right level of care, in the right place, at the right time. We look forward to seeing how this project progresses.”

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