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Cynosures of care

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

NHS Managers blogger Roy Lilley made an interesting suggestion last week, proposing that:

“All care homes should have a full-time nursing component and a prescriber. That would have a dramatic effect on blue-light calls, A&E volumes and bed usage. Give the CQC the power to insist on it, as a prerequisite of registration.”

I agree wholeheartedly, but I would go much further. For a long time now we have heard how care homes can become ‘community hubs’ but this has not happened to any significant degree. I would like to see not only community nurses but Admiral nurses, Macmillan nurses, stoma therapists, community physios and community OTs based in care homes. All these community health professionals would be required to budget part of their service provision to the care home’s residents as ‘payment in kind’ for use of the care home’s infrastructure and administrative support.

And why stop there? Why not regular outpatient clinics, memory clinics, an external meals service and homecare provision?

Reform along these lines would make the provision of intermediate care by care homes more practicable, reduce acute hospital admissions and delayed discharges and provide care home residents with the health services to which they are entitled.

Of course, all this presupposes cast-iron contracts and a mutual willingness by the NHS and independent social care providers to dismantle their private empires and constructively engage with each other in working towards a seamless health and social care system designed to serve the public good.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

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