NHS England has announced £4.32 million of new funding to support and spread ongoing work to improve healthcare on the Fylde coast.
The boost comes as organisations across the area continue working together to introduce ‘new care models’ through the ‘vanguard’ programme. These ‘new care models’ refer to improving the way in which healthcare services are arranged, provided and accessed regardless of whether you have multiple complaints, a single long-term condition or just the occasional bout of ill health.
The aim is to improve the care people receive, prevent ill health and save funds to safeguard the sustainability of services.
On the Fylde coast this is happening through providing services which support people to manage their conditions better in the community and thus reduce the risk of a hospital admission when things worsen.
Considerable progress has been made to date with the launch of the community based Extensive Care service which makes sure people over 60 with two or more long-term conditions receive more coordinated support closer to their home and less in hospital.
The service sees all of the doctors, nurses and support workers a person’s needs might require work together under one roof in a harmonised team to support patients. Eligible patients are referred by their GP and during 2016 the service was made available to all GP practices across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
Early indications from the impact of the service show a 13 per cent reduction in A&E attendances, a 25 per cent reduction in non-elective admissions and a 18 per cent reduction in outpatient appointments among the patients within the service. Most notably, there has been a 37 per cent fall in planned visits to hospital among patients receiving support.
Supplementing the Extensive Care service is the introduction of locally based Neighbourhood Care Teams. These teams involve local GPs working alongside community nurses, therapists, wellbeing workers and other healthcare professionals in 10 natural geographical areas across the Fylde coast. They support people aged over 18, whose GP feels could benefit from additional support to stay well. That could be people with a long-term condition or other factors in their life which mean they sometimes neglect their health and wellbeing.
The introduction of these teams began during October 2016 and will continue through early 2017.
In combination, the Extensive Care service and these Neighbourhood Care Teams will mean that those people who often require the most support will benefit from more proactive care which helps them better understand and manage their conditions and dramatically reduce the need for urgent and unplanned visits to hospital, their GP or other services.
When people do need healthcare services, these will also be better organised. Previously these professionals operated individually across different organisations meaning that care wasn’t as well coordinated as it could be.
In addition to the introduction of these new services, work is ongoing to develop and introduce a range of technology initiatives which support patients and professionals. These include apps and devices which help people to self-care, connect different professionals remotely via video links and allow patients to have virtual consultations with a doctor for example.
Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are very pleased with the changes we have made to the care provided to people living on the Fylde coast.
“As well as involving residents more in the way services are provided, we’ve cut the number needing to use local A&E services or be admitted to hospital. We’ve also taken pressure off our local GP services.”
Peter Tinson, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, added: “We’ve made substantial progress to date in transforming how local people, who often need the most help to stay well, receive the care they need.
“This investment is a significant endorsement of that progress and in the potential of our future intentions to continue improving care for others with the introduction of our Neighbourhood Care Teams.
“Throughout this journey we’ve also been sharing all of the learning we’ve gained with other areas across the country. This is a key requirement of being a vanguard site and we’ll continue to do that through 2017/18.
“The developments happening on the Fylde Coast are not just benefitting local people but are demonstrating opportunities to transform care elsewhere in England. We’re providing a blueprint for future NHS services nationally.”
Samantha Jones, Director of the New Care Models Programme, said: “The vanguards are making great progress and have already made a tangible impact on the lives of patients and the working lives of staff. 2017/18 is a crucial year for the vanguards, in particular how we further spread their work across the wider NHS and care services. This funding, as well as the support we offer to them, will help them to continue to move at pace.”
There are 50 ‘vanguard’ sites across England. To find out more about these please visit: www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/new-care-models/vanguards.
Notes to editors
- The Fylde Coast when referred to as a vanguard site includes the following organisations: NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG); NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG; Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust; Lancashire County Council; and Blackpool Council.
- The vanguards programme is one of the first steps towards delivering the NHS Five Year Forward View.
- Each vanguard site is taking a lead on the development of new care models which will act as the blueprints for the NHS moving forward and the inspiration to the rest of the health and care system.
- New care models, including the work of the vanguards, are key to the delivery of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) which are being developed across the country.
For further information about this press release please call the communications team on 01253 956594.