Tel: 01636 555033
We've Got Newark and Sherwood Covered


Digital breakthrough helps people get care they need

Posted onPosted on 15th Apr

A new pilot scheme has been launched in Newark and Sherwood to upskill home care staff to spot the early signs of poor health in elderly people, and ensure less crisis situations and hospital admissions.

The pilot scheme is being run by local home care provider, Fosse Healthcare, in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, the East Midlands AHSN, Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub and Birdie.

It is being funded using Better Care funding from the county council.

Fosse Healthcare managing director Volt Sacco explained: “We 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 and 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 and deterioration and escalation toolkit, which Fosse Healthcare staff have been trained to use to measure the health of their care recipients.

Their training helps them to recognise what is referred to as ‘soft signs of deterioration’, such as a raised temperature, fatigue or change of habit.
These soft signs are then 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, added: “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.”

Melanie Brooks, corporate director for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “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 can ensure 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.”

The pilot scheme was officially launched in Newark and Sherwood will run for up to six months to give the academic partners enough time to undertake their evaluations.