New Oldham team helps to get people home from hospital

Oldham residents will be supported to return home from hospital quickly and safely, thanks to a new team of health, social care and third sector professionals.

The Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team works closely with colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital, including those in the A&E department, to react quickly and prevent people from being admitted to hospital if they can be supported at home with the right professional help.

Once at home, the team takes a partnership approach to assessment and care planning to understand what level of support the individual may need to live as safely and independently as possible.

The team works with the patient to identify the tasks they may need help with - such as getting in and out of bed or a chair, mobilising around the home, getting washed and dressed, making meals and managing medication - working with community, mental health and social care professionals to ensure appropriate support is provided if needed on an ongoing basis.

Practical services such as warm home assessments, home adaptations and social activities such as luncheon clubs can also be arranged by the team.

The service was established by the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, a partnership of 10 health, care and voluntary sector organisations developed to improve outcomes for local people by enhancing current service provision.

It consists of therapists, nurses, health care assistants and mental health practitioners from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, social workers from Oldham Council, and a Promoting Independence in People (PIP) support worker from Age UK Oldham, who have been brought together to work as one multi-agency team.

As well as preventing people from being admitted to hospital by identifying them early, the team works closely with hospital-based nurses, doctors, discharge coordinators and the RAID mental health liaison team to also support patients who have been admitted to the wards who could be discharged early with the support of the service.

Caroline Drysdale, Oldham Community Services Director at Pennine Care and Chair of the Oldham Urgent Care Alliance, said: “It’s essential that community-based services work closely together, alongside the teams in our local hospitals, to ensure people can receive care closer to home. As long as the right support is in place, being at home has better outcomes for the patient who is able to regain their independence.

“It is also beneficial for the whole local health and care system, because ensuring people can be discharged quickly and safely helps to reduce some of the pressures faced by hospitals. This is even more important over the winter months, when our health and care services will be busier than usual.”

The Oldham Rapid Community Assessment Team has been commissioned by NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group.

Cllr Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said “This new service will help those who need a lower level of support and will complement  a range of other services,  designed to ensure people can return from hospital in a hospital in a timely and safe manner.  All the stakeholders have worked hard to integrate their teams so that residents receive joined up services which are more efficient and which ensure continuity to their care.”