Quality in Care Homes
The Quality in Care Homes team works with care homes in the Surrey Downs CCG area to improve the health and quality of care for residents. The team provides training, support and signposting to further services and resources and consists of a variety of health professionals including nursing, a dietician, speech and language therapist and pharmacy resource.
It supports and monitors improvements in care homes as well as assessing early intervention requirements for the reduction in ‘avoidable’ hospital attendances and admissions of residents as well as improving outcomes for residents and carers. Pictured are staff at Cossins House Care Home in Cobham.
What are our aims?
- To support a more proactive culture.
- To move from a reactive to proactive approach for safety and safeguarding alerts for early intervention.
- To prevent care homes from failing due to preventable causes.
- To provide assurance that care homes are safe environments, providing appropriate high quality care for patients.
- To reduce inappropriate hospital admissions from care homes.
- To reduce inappropriate A&E attendances from care homes.
- Improve medicines management practice.
- Improve nutrition and hydration of residents.
- To support the right care at the right time through the right clinician and qualitative approach.
What have we done?
All 71 Surrey Downs care homes (that cater for over 65s and are non-specialist) have been engaged with and received at least an initial visit from the QiCH team.
The QiCH team have visited more than half of homes to provide staff training on how to reduce the incidence of falls, improve the management of residents with challenging behaviour and dementia, as well working with care homes to enhance residents’ nutrition and hydration.
All care home staff are invited to monthly forums to engage with staff from other care homes in Surrey Downs. Each forum has a theme around different training areas that are not currently provided on an individual home basis.
A newsletter is provided to homes to keep them updated on information and training opportunities. See link at foot of page to read issues.
Read more on the Red Bag scheme and Hydrate in Care Homes project on other tabs on this page.
Use of technology to help provide early warning of a residents’ declining health.
- During 2017, Healthwatch Surrey undertook an independent assessment of the work of the Surrey Downs Quality in Care Homes team. That report can be found here.
What are our future plans?
- Support from pharmacy resource to provide medication reviews for care home residents and focus on reducing medicine wastage.
- Employ palliative care practitioners to support and work alongside care home staff and offer clinical support, training, education, advice and guidance on advanced care planning. The practitioners will identify residents at risk of early deterioration in health and instigate appropriate interventions.
- Develop integrated working with other community health staff, GPs, social services, hospital staff and other health workers to increase the support provided to care homes and individual residents and improve referral opportunities for care home residents most in need of healthcare interventions.
What is the Red Bag scheme?
The Red Bag Scheme: The Red Bag accompanies residents to hospital and aids in a shorter hospital length of stay and speedier hospital discharge where appropriate. Pictured is the launch at Kingston Hospital.
Read more here.
The Hydrate in Care Homes project
The ‘Hydrate in Care Homes’ Project strives for optimal hydration for all residents through staff training, identifying actions that can be implemented in care homes thereby reducing the incidence of falls, urinary tract infections and associated hospital admissions, all of which are associated with poor hydration. Media release on hydration and nutrition here.
- Quality in Care Homes newsletter