Care home connect (CHC) is a project that was funded as part of the wider Fylde Coast Vanguard Programme in 2016 and set out an ambitious aim to create a secure end to end network between all Fylde Coast care homes and NHS services.
Provision of this infrastructure would support seamless care pathways between health and care services enabling, in the medium term, care homes to gain access to NHS Mail. In the longer term it would also lay the foundations for homes to adopt broader digital innovations such as smart TVs to allow residents greater flexibility and freedom to communicate with family and friends in addition to health and care professionals.
To date our dedicated team have connected over 140 residential and nursing homes to the Care Home Connect infrastructure.
The use case for the infrastructure was reinforced during the Covid-19 2020 pandemic, when it proved invaluable, enabling care homes to reduce the risk of the infection spreading whilst still maintaining contact with health professionals as needed.
Reviewing mortality figures for care homes during the peak Covid-19 period of March – June 2020, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre areas performed above average compared with the other areas in Lancashire. Based on Office of National Statistics’ estimates of care home population numbers and the total numbers of deaths, Wyre and Fylde had a 3% mortality rate and Blackpool 2%, compared with a high in Lancashire of 6% March – June 2020.
Over the same period the use of the care home connect system increased dramatically both in terms of number of calls, an increase of over 1900%, and more significantly overall talktime in the system with an increase of 1500%.