Acute trust gets hands-on in social care

21 September 2016
 
Delayed transfers in Oxfordshire have fallen significantly since the acute trust began directly employing social care staff.
 
Oxfordshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT) boosted its domiciliary care staff from 30 to 80 to provide an additional 1600 hours of home care each week.
 
The expansion during the spring of the Supported Hospital Discharge Service (SHDS) provided by care support workers is part of a £2 million initiative funded by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The SHDS alone helped 1700 patients recover at home last year – before the latest recruitment drive – and is credited with saving around 13,000 bed days a year.
 
The wider CCG-funded initiative draws together the county council and the community trust, as well as OUHFT. The initiative includes the purchase of intermediate care beds in 17 care homes across the county so that patients waiting for rehabilitation and social care packages can be transferred from acute and community hospitals. The initiative is credited with a 45% reduction in delayed transfers of care since its launch last November, with a fall from around 130 per month last year to fewer than 70 in July.
 
The local health economy has struggled with delayed transfers for several years and the dramatic improvement since last autumn lifted the acute trust off the bottom of the national table. It also went against a national trend which saw delays rising by around 25%.
 
David Smith, chief executive of Oxfordshire CCG, said: “These encouraging figures demonstrate that targeted spending and excellent cooperation between the NHS and our social care partners has made a real difference to many older, frail patients.
 
“Fewer people are now getting delayed in hospital beds. We have made it possible for them to move to more appropriate settings where they can make a quicker recovery after treatment.”
 
The OUHFT is registered with the Care Quality Commission as an authorised provider of domiciliary care. The support care workers help patients with bathing, dressing and eating as well as ensuring they take their medication correctly.
 
Patients are supported for up to 14 days.
 
The trust provides the care support workers with ongoing training in healthcare.
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