A project in which health and care professionals share their skills to help older people get home safely from A&E has won an NHS Wales award.
Cwm Taf University Health Board’s Stay Well @ Home project was judged Wales’ best service for working seamlessly across organisations, at the NHS’s national celebration of high quality patient care.
Clare Jones is the only physiotherapist with Stay Well @ Home’s team of occupational therapists, social workers and therapy technicians.
A clinical specialist physiotherapist, she works across two sites – the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, and the Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil.
She described the project as seamless and efficient. The team shared skills and as a result, patients did not have to wait to see a range of different health and care professionals.
‘Part of my role is training occupational therapists and technicians in physiotherapy competencies,’ she said.
‘This means they can do mobility assessments, provide mobility aids and make rehabilitation plans.
‘I see patients too. Because I’m trained in occupational therapy competencies, I can provide equipment, such as commodes and bed loops.
‘And we are able to commission packages of care, so we don’t need to call our social worker colleagues. We call this the trusted assessor role.’
Stay Well @ Home was set up in April 2017. Its objective was to improve the flow of patients through A&E departments. Limited availability of care and support at home meant that people aged 65 and over could not be discharged home. They often faced lengthy waits for acute or community beds.
According to the health board, data from the project is being validated. Early reports, however, show ‘measurable improvements’ in the quality of care for older patients and a reduction in the number of patients placed in a list for transfer to hospital, it said.
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