This bulletin has been developed to provide GPs, CCGs and partners in the north east sector with a monthly update on key service developments from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

We welcome comments and feedback, which can be emailed to: communications.penninecare@nhs.net

Pennine Care Progress - January 2015

New Year, New Challenges, New Opportunities

In his latest blog, Chief Executive Michael McCourt shares his thoughts on the future of the NHS, including implications of the NHS England Five Year Forward View, as well as what this means for Pennine Care in terms of change, finances and the future.

Click here to read the blog.

Stepping up to winter pressures

Community and mental health services remain focussed on supporting patients to avoid hospital admission, reducing length of stay and facilitating the timely discharge of patients back home or into a community setting.

As the system continues to face significant demands, services are working closely with partner agencies at a local level to provide whatever support they can. However, this is also creating additional pressures and demands on community-based services.

All services have been asked to revise attendance at non-essential training and planned annual leave whilst we work with partners to bring stability back into the system. All caseloads, planned activity and clinics are continually reviewed to ensure patients who are at risk of hospital admission are provided with appropriate care in the community.

All of these measures will ensure that our community and mental health services are maximising capacity as much as possible.

BBC North West Tonight report on community services

BBC North West Tonight filmed with Pennine Care's community services, looking at how they provide care to patients at home or in the community to avoid hospital. The report was linked to the growing pressures experienced by A&E departments, but highlighted how community care needs to be a priority to help address the issues.

Chief Executive, Michael McCourt, was also interviewed in the studio by presenter Roger Johnson.

Click here to view the report.

HMR children's asthma nurses use Facebook to engage with parents

The HMR Children's Asthma Service has launched a Facebook page to give parents a forum to ask for advice for their children. As well as answering individual queries and signposting parents to the most appropriate help, they provide specialist advice on managing flu, colds and other illnesses in children with asthma.

The page has received more than 300 likes from parents and carers and feedback from parents has been unanimously positive. Lindsay Greenwood said: "I get absolutely fantastic support from the team. The nurse is brilliant with my two little ones and has helped me manage my son's asthma. Someone is always available to offer advice and nothing is too much trouble."

Click here to view the page.

Pennine Care is launching Facebook and Twitter accounts across several of its services to share key health messages and as a point of contact for support and advice.

HMR launches yellow care plan to support hospital avoidance

HMR patients with a long-term condition, such as heart failure or lung disease, are now being offered a 'Yellow Care Plan' to help them avoid being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.

It contains information about their condition and what treatment they may require in an urgent situation. If they need to call for urgent help, the paramedic or out of hours GP will have access to up to date and detailed information and can make an informed decision whether appropriate care can be provided by a community health professional.

The initiative is a partnership between Pennine Care, NWAS, BARDOC and Pennine Acute.

Click here to read a patient's story.

HMR COPD service reduces acute admissions

Hospital admissions for people with lung disease in HMR have decreased by 12 per cent after a range of improvements were made to the community COPD Response and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team.

All members of the multi-disciplinary team are now trained in providing supported self-management and service users have reported significant improvements in their health, increased confidence and independence and a better service experience overall.

The team also experienced a 13 per cent increase in the number of people accessing support during November.

HMR Neuromuscular Care Team supporting admission avoidance

A dedicated service in the Rochdale borough is helping to reduce the number of hospital admissions for people who have a neuromuscular condition.

Since being launched, the team has supported more than 30 people – ten of whom required repeated hospital admissions due to the complexity of their condition. However, since being cared for by the team, seven of these people have not required a single hospital admission.

Contact the team on 01706 837067.

Partnership sees new workers promoting independence in Oldham

Pennine Care and Age UK have formed a partnership to appoint four new Promoting Independent People (PIP) advisors, to help older people to live a more independent life.

The Age UK PIP advisors work closely with the integrated community health and social care operating across the borough, as well as local GPs. Older people will be referred by health professionals to the PIP workers if they may be at risk of feeling isolated or anxious about their health issues and need extra support to regain confidence and live life to the full.

The PIP advisors will work with individuals to get an understanding of their needs and make a tailored plan that will help them maintain and manage their health conditions, gain independence and increase their social interaction and wellbeing.

Oldham intermediate care supports winter pressures

Butler Green intermediate care in Oldham has increased service levels in support of the current system pressures. All 28 nursing and enhanced care beds are currently in use; 32 patients have been admitted over the past three weeks including 7 step-up admissions.

Community navigators have assessed 37 acute patients who have been stepped-down into the community. The Butler Green at home team has supported 33 people at home and the urgent care response team has successfully supported 15 patients to remain at home.

The IV domiciliary team has supported 21 patients in the community, maintaining 11 contacts per day, and the ambulatory clinic has seen 15 patients preventing hospital admission and prolonged hospital stay.

Bury crisis response team reduces demand on emergency services

Since the beginning of November, Bury's community-based Crisis Response Team has seen a significant increase in the number of people referred to their service from accident and emergency – which is helping to reduce pressure on hospital services.

A total of 203 referrals have been received since 1 November – with 60 of these received in the first two weeks of January alone. This compares to around 61 referrals received in an average full month.

The service enables people to access the care and support they need at home, without having to be admitted to an acute ward.

It is jointly provided by Bury Council and Pennine Care, providing an integrated health and social care offer.

Find local services more easily

Don't forget that you can easily find any of the community and mental health services provided by Pennine Care via the online service directory.

You can search by name, borough or postcode – whatever you prefer. This ensures you have the information you need at the click of a button. The site is also mobile friendly so it can be used easily on mobile devices.

Click here to view the service directory.