A new project helping Sudbury care home residents and their families is already showing dramatic results with fewer people being admitted to hospital in an emergency.
Last year on average 9.4 people per month were admitted to hospital from three care homes in Sudbury and the surrounding area.
But in April and May this year only one person from each home had to be admitted to hospital.
Some 139 people living in care homes in West Suffolk now have an individual personalised emergency plan.
The startling figures have arisen from a new project which is part of Connect Sudbury, which provides a more integrated approach from health and social care.
The model means that there is a personalised emergency plan or advance care plan for people so that staff know exactly what should be done in case of an emergency.
The West Suffolk Care Home Model is a partnership between NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, St Nicholas Hospice Care and participating GOP practices.
The key to the model’s success is discussions between residents and their families to develop a personalised emergency plan for each individual which is supported by skilled care home staff.
A health and care review was carried out by GPs, hospital clinicians, Suffolk County Council and patient groups looking at urgent care, health and independence.
Suffolk’s population is increasing and by 2031 it is estimated there will be a 55 per cent increase in those over 65 and 72 per cent in people aged over 75.
Sue Smith, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust care home clinical support manager, said: “The majority of residents and family prefer to receive emergency care in the comfortable surroundings of their home by skilled and supportive care home staff.
“The model aims to meet an individual’s personal choice as well as reduce unwanted stays, which are a major cause of stress and upheavals for residents.”
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said: “These are really early signs that Connect Sudbury is seeing a positive impact.
One of the most tangible outcomes we should ultimately see from successful integration of services through the Connect initiative is reduced pressure on A&E as more care is provided closer to home.
“The reduced admissions statistics so far from this new Care Home Model are very promising and indicate precisely this outcome is being achieved – fewer admissions, with more appropriate care.”
Pippa Wilding, St Nicholas Hospice Care head of education, said: “We are delighted this is making such a difference.
“Our aim is to ensure everybody has the very best experience in the last chapters of their life. Connect Sudbury will undoubtedly continue to support this objective.”
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