High praise for impact of care homes scheme

Coun Scott Dickinson
Coun Scott Dickinson

A new treatment scheme in Northumberland is enabling many elderly and infirm people in care homes to avoid stressful trips to hospital.

As part of the Government’s Better Care Fund initiatives, partnership working between local authorities and General Practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists is improving healthcare in these properties through training and education programmes, better telephone access to GPs and developing the role of community matrons.

The fund aims to improve support to people with long-term needs and protect social care services from the impact of local authority austerity savings by developing integrated services, which reduce overall costs.

Northumberland County councillor Scott Dickinson, chair of the Northumberland Health and Well-being Board, has been visiting care homes in the county to see how services are progressing and meet staff and patients.

He said: “If care home residents become poorly, it is often better that they are treated within the familiar surroundings of their care home.

“It is more comforting for them and avoids unnecessary transfers to hospital.

“Quality and clinically appropriate delivery of care in the care home is the goal and I’m pleased to see the progress being made to make healthcare as comfortable as possible for residents.”

The improvements being made also include the appointment of a lead pharmacist to carry out medication reviews and oversee the quality of prescribed medicines to residents.