Red bags to help care home residents leave hospital sooner

A new innovative ‘red bag’ scheme launches on 1 August 2019 by Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which is designed to help care home residents in Salisbury who are admitted to hospital, to receive improved care and reduce their length of stay in hospital.

Gill May, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality for Banes, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups said:
“The red bag is a simple initiative that enables a smooth handover from the care home to the ambulance and then to the hospital staff because all of the patient’s information and personal belongings are together in the red bag.

“It helps those who provide care at all stages of the patient’s journey to have immediate access to the information they need, and it will help patients to get home more quickly because the risk of misplacing their belongings is reduced.”

Lisa Wood, Paramedic from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Because the patient has all of their medical information easily accessible there in the bag, it will help our paramedics to triage the patients and make the right decisions for them more quickly before handing them over to the care of the hospital staff.”

Included in the red bag is a ‘this is me’ document, which provides information about the patient’s needs, interests, likes and dislikes, which helps those caring for them to do so on a more personal level.

While in hospital a patient will see different clinicians in different parts of the hospital. Their red bag stays with them throughout this journey meaning that those caring for them have immediate access to their up to date medical information and medication and the patient keeps their personal items with them.

The red bag stays with the patient until they are ready to go back to their care home and includes a copy of their discharge summary to help the care home staff to provide continuity of care for their resident.

Wiltshire CCG intends to provide red bags to care homes in the rest of the county by the end of this year.

Red bags were first introduced in Sutton CCG, London in November 2015 and so far the initiative has reduced hospital stays by 4.4 days per resident, saving £354,994 in 2017/18; stopped patients losing personal items such as dentures, glasses and hearing aids; and improved communication between care home and hospital staff saving time, resources and duplication.

Wiltshire CCG has taken elements from the Sutton CCG model and worked it into a project that is aimed at improving the experience, quality and safety of patient care, reducing pressure on A&E and supporting effective working relationships between care homes and health and social care organisations.

Awards Given to GP Practices Going Above and Beyond for Unpaid Carers

GP practices in Wiltshire going above and beyond for unpaid carers were recognised at the Carer Support Wiltshire Investors in Carers GP Accreditation Scheme Awards, which took place on Wednesday, 17th July at Devizes Town Hall.

The awards recognise and celebrate those Wiltshire GP practices who have met a number of requirements, including maintaining an
up-to-date carer’s register, having a carer’s lead, providing flexible appointments for carers and holding a minimum of one carer’s clinic per year. The clinics are run in partnership with the CSW Community Connector team.

This year saw 28 practices receiving the highest possible platinum award – up from 17 last year. The new platinum level was introduced in response to the outstanding support to carers provided by many GP Practices in Wiltshire.

The scheme aims to raise awareness of carers’ issues in GP practices and provide a system of awards to recognise their support to carers.

Gabby Wright, Practice Nurse at Trowbridge Health Centre said:
“The Carers GP Accreditation Scheme Awards are a great indication of how well supported Carers are through GP practices who are working alongside Carer Support, Wiltshire.

“It allows GP practices to all be held to the same high standards of support, which also means Carers throughout Wiltshire are able to find the information and help they require and it is readily available and easy to find.

“Here at Trowbridge Health Centre we are delighted that our hard work has been recognised with a platinum award for the second year running.”

According to a recent State of Caring Survey 2019, conducted by Carers UK of over 7,500 carers, 72% of carers responding said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring and 61% reported physical ill health as a result of caring. Almost two-thirds of carers (64%) say they have focused on the care needs of the person they care for and not on their own needs.

GP Practices continue to be the main source of referrals to CSW and are often the first point for a carer to acknowledge their caring role and access support. Holding carer clinics at GP surgeries in rural areas also means carers in isolated locations can access face to face support and information. From April 2018-March 2019 78 carer clinics were run at GP surgeries across Wiltshire, which assessed and supported the needs of 381 carers.

The awards were presented by Tim Burns, Commissioning Manager and Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chair, both of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Carer Support Wiltshire’s service is jointly funded by Wiltshire Council and the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Three local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups take steps to become one organisation

Three groups responsible for the planning, buying and monitoring of health services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire could become one single organisation as soon as April 2020.

As one CCG, health leaders can reduce variation in care and standardise best practice so everyone can access high quality treatment and services, regardless of where they live. Working as one organisation will also help the CCG meet financial challenges by, for example, offering greater buying power, eliminating the duplication of administrative support functions and streamlining governance processes. The savings made can then be invested in frontline services or transformational projects.

The move is in line with similar mergers across the NHS and follows national guidance for health and care services to work more closely together and move towards becoming Integrated Care Systems to give everyone the best start in life, world-class care for major health problems and help to age well.

Dr Ian Orpen, Chair of the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Board, said:
“CCGs up and down the country have either already merged or are beginning plans to merge to help better meet the needs of their local populations. We believe that now is the right time for our three CCGs to come together to form a leaner, more strategic, single organisation to serve local people.

“The three CCGs have a history of working together to deliver high quality care, and in the past year, we have increased our partnership working. For example, we have a single Chief Executive and executive management structure, which has led to more consistent leadership and a clearer direction to staff.

“I believe that as a single CCG, we will be in a stronger position to improve outcomes for patients, whilst still retaining our local voice.”

At their recent public meetings, the Governing Bodies of BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) approved plans to apply to NHS England to create one single organisation. Prior to submitting the application, the CCGs will engage with the public, staff, providers and other key stakeholders, and the GP membership of each CCG will then vote on a final decision to apply for a merger.

The three CCGs will then submit an application to NHS England and, if approved, the three groups will become a single CCG on 1 April 2020.

People living in Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES), Swindon and Wiltshire who want to share their views can do so by visiting:
www.bathandnortheastsomersetccg.nhs.uk
http://www.swindonccg.nhs.uk/
http://www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk/

More pupils in the future across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will have access to specially trained mental health practitioners thanks to funding for a new programme.

Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group successfully bid for funding to be part of NHS England’s Mental Health Support Team (MHST) Trailblazer programme.

The programme is already being implemented in Swindon and has been successfully rolled out in a number of other areas across the country. Now pupils across B&NES and Wiltshire will benefit from the second wave once the scheme starts in January 2020.

The scheme will see MHSTs working directly in selected schools and colleges across the region by providing on-site access to early mental health support.

The teams will provide early intervention for mild to moderate mental health issues, such as exam stress, low mood or friendship difficulties as well as providing support to staff. They will also act as a link with local specialist children and young people’s mental health services ensuring, if appropriate, that pupils can access more intensive support.

The funding for the scheme comes as recent public engagement driven by local health and care organisations has found that young people would prioritise better and faster access to mental health services.

One in nine young people aged 5 to 15 had a diagnosable mental health condition in 2017 and teenagers with a mental health disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental disorder in adulthood. This package of measures is part of the Government’s plan to improve mental health support for children and young people, including identifying mental health issues before they become more acute.

Wiltshire Council Cabinet member for children, Pauline Church said:
“Now more than ever young people are under pressure, stress and social anxiety can cause real problems which affect their wellbeing and mental health”. “We know there is some excellent support out there already. This Trailblazer programme will build on that and provide even more support, earlier and where young people tell us that they want to receive it – in schools. The programme will help young people to improve their emotional health and wellbeing and get back on track.
Lucy Baker, Acting Commissioning Director for Maternity, Children and Mental Health at Wiltshire CCG said:
“It’s fantastic news that we’ve received funding for this important scheme. We know children, young people, their parents, supporters and carers want to be able to access mental health services quickly and easily and the Trailblazer scheme is a significant step forward in enabling that to happen.”
Dr David Soodeen, Clinical Director for the South West Mental Health Clinical Network, said:
“The process of growing up can lead to a number of issues which can impact upon the mental health of children and young people – exam stress, behavioural difficulties or friendship issues to name just a few. We believe that if intervention can take place early on, it may help stop worries becoming much bigger mental health issues. “By putting mental health support teams in to schools and colleges, the Trailblazer programme offers a really exciting opportunity to work differently with young people, supporting their mental health needs at an earlier stage and in a familiar setting. “Improving access to mental health support is a key theme of the NHS’ Long Term Plan and our congratulations go to everyone involved in securing this funding  – this will make a real difference to the local population and we look forward to working with both them, and colleagues in education, on delivering their plans.”