Accommodation with Support: Winter Pressure Initiatives 2018

We are entering the ‘Winter Pressure’ time of year where all partners must work together as effectively as possible to ensure that people in Warwickshire are receiving the right support at the right time in the right place. This particularly relates to safely discharging people from hospital in a timely fashion during a period where there are extra pressures on the health and social care system.

With this in mind Warwickshire County Council Strategic Commissioning are asking for partners’ support around assessing and admitting new residents in a timely manner, as well as highlighting support available to assist you with this.

Care Homes Trusted Assessor

All care homes providers on the council’s Framework contract should ensure that they have sufficient staffing levels to respond promptly to hospital referrals and undertake preliminary assessments of need within 24 hours of referral.

It can be particularly challenging for care homes to meet these timescales during the winter pressure period. This is where our Care Homes Trusted Assessor resource can assist in carrying out preliminary assessments of potential new residents awaiting hospital discharge on your behalf.

There are now two Trusted Assessors in post. Part of their role is to develop extensive knowledge of the market and meet care homes managers which will allow them to carry out assessments of need on behalf of providers in an informed and trusted manner. This helps ensure that people are discharged to the right care setting in a timely fashion, while freeing up your time to focus on running their service and providing care for existing residents.

If you would like to find out more about the Trusted Assessor resource please contact them directly:

Reginald Pearson 07584 336419
Joanne Townsend 07825 317054

EMS Plus system: Bed availability tool

EMS Plus is an online tool which allows providers to enter information regarding their bed vacancies on a daily basis. EMS is currently the preferred bed availability tool for both health and social care professionals and it has already proved to be extremely helpful to a number of relevant partners in the hospital discharge pathway. The system improves patient flow by ensuring that care home vacancies can be quickly be accessed wherever possible.

The benefits of EMS Plus for providers include:

  • Quick and easy to use system to enter bed availability in one place
  • Reduced time spent fielding multiple enquiries regarding bed availability
  • Maximising occupancy by filling vacant beds as quickly as possible
  • The information can be amended as soon as availability changes

Usage of the system is also reinforced by a recent NHS England target aiming for 50% of care homes to be inputting bed data into a web-based tracker system by 18th January 2019.

The system is free to use for providers and full training and support is provided. You should be hearing more soon as the system continues to be rolled out to the market. If you want to know more, or wish to get registered, please contact Daniel Bates on or 0121 612 3901.

Hospital to Home service

Hospital to Home is delivered by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and commissioned by Warwickshire County Council. The service is aimed at individuals who are medically fit to go home following their treatment within A&E, but may require transport and support to settle when they return home (which includes those living in residential and nursing homes) and prevent an unnecessary admission into hospital.

The service has been operational since August 2018 and is available at the following A&E departments:

  • South Warwickshire Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital

The service is operational;

  • 10am – 12 am
  • 7 days a week
  • 365 days a year

How it works

  • Team of 40 staff across two teams
  • Teams based at Bedworth and Leamington Spa fire stations
  • Two vehicles equipped with wheelchair, AED, transfer equipment

The service operates an on-call function and aims to arrive at the referring A&E department within 60 minutes of the referral being made. On arrival, Hospital to Home staff work with A&E staff to ensure that the individual has their personal belongings, any discharge documents or letters and any prescribed medication that the A&E consultant has given them. Contact will be made with the individual’s care home to ensure sufficient staffing is available to admit them back.

If you would like to learn more about this service please contact Keith McDermott, Station Commander (Fire Prevention and Arson)

Flu and Infection control

As we enter winter it is important to be mindful of increasing incidence of respiratory illness, including flu, within your home.

Residents should receive their flu vaccination from their GP surgeries; please ensure this is documented on their care notes.

NHS England have also made free flu vaccinations available for all health and social care staff – these can be accessed via your own GP or through the local pharmacy with proof of employment status, i.e. name badge, pay slip etc. Managers should record this in staff’s profiles and note any refusals.

Please also ensure that your staff are provided with the necessary equipment and PPE to ensure that infection control is carried out effectively. Useful infection control resources can be found on the Care Homes: Infection Prevention and Control area of the website:

Please note that providers of care and support services have a duty to report all outbreaks of flu or norovirus to Public Health England by ringing 0344 225 3560 option 2 both in and out of hours.

NHS 111 *6 service (nursing care homes only)

Please make a note of the service available on NHS 111 for nursing care home staff who may be unsure about which pathway to take next for an unwell resident. Simply dial 111 and press 6 when prompted to be put through to an appropriate healthcare professional (this includes GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, mental health professionals, dental nurses and pharmacists).

Download the document here: WCBT Accommodation with Support – Winter Pressure Initiatives 2018

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