New Care Coordinators for patients

Posted: October 9, 2013

Patients to benefit from new Care Coordinators based in GP surgeries from October

People across Wiltshire, including the frail and elderly and those with complex health needs, will soon benefit from a new service, jointly run by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Throughout October, 23 new Care Coordinators, based in GP surgeries across Wiltshire, will begin to help patients to continue living well at home for longer and help to reduce medically unnecessary admissions into hospital.

Care Coordinators will become a familiar point of contact for patients and carers, easing access to health and social care services, as well as those from the voluntary sector. They will work very closely with the Community Nursing Teams and support patients, their families and carers to better manage living with long term illnesses such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD),so patients are less likely to become unwell and need hospital treatment.

Care Coordinators will also help to identify patients who need support to continue living at home and will work with organisations such as the council and the voluntary sector to provide this support in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

Two GPs, who have pioneered the scheme, are Dr Celia Grummitt, based in Salisbury and Dr Simon Burrell who has a practice in Corsham. Dr Burrell says: "There are a large number of ways that people who are getting frailer, or who have an on-going illness can be helped. Much of it isn't about medical care, but relates to more holistic or general support. Because there are so many options it's often difficult for a patient to find them or decide which are the best for them. The role of the Care Coordinator will be to match those who offer help with those who need it."

His comments are echoed by Dr Grummitt: "The advent of Care Coordinators marks another step in our plans to improve services for patients and provide good care nearer home. As the types and providers of care become more complex, both patients and we as GPs need help to bring things together so that we can provide our patients with a range of services and care options which are tailored to their individual needs". 

Emily Davies, a former practice nurse in Wiltshire, will be based in St Damian's Surgery, Melksham and Bradford on Avon Health Centre from 1 October as a Care Coordinator. Emily said: "I'm really looking forward to meeting my patients. I think the service will make a real difference to local people as we can really get to know each patient, their individual needs and what support will be valuable to them.

"We will be working with health, social care and voluntary agencies to support people to stay in their own home or be looked after in an appropriate setting, rather than hospital. We want to help patients feel more in control of their health and wellbeing and support families to reduce the risk of crisis." 

The service will benefit vulnerable patients who have been identified as being at a high risk of hospital admission. Care Coordinators will be visiting selected patients in their own homes in the coming weeks. 

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