GP-led vanguard scheme cuts hospital stays, finds report

Hospital stays have been slashed by a vanguard scheme in south-east England involving GP checks on care home residents, according to a report outlining early progress from new models of care.

The NHS Confederation study said Sutton Homes of Care had taken three days off the average length of time spent in hospital by care home residents in the region.

Resident visits to accident and emergency departments were down 10%, according to New care models and prevention: an integral partnership.

The vanguard’s new approach includes a pilot project of GPs or care co-ordinators carrying out health and wellbeing reviews of residents’ needs every six months.

GP workload

One Sutton-based GP is quoted in the report as saying: 'The health and wellbeing review pilot has given us the gift of time to do our job properly.'

Other results from the Sutton Homes of Care, which serves a population of 200,000, include less wastage of medication, financial savings and improved job satisfaction, according to the report.

GPonline reported last spring that the announcement of 29 sites to trial new care models marked the first major step in implementing NHS England’s Five Year Forward View vision for the health service.

The achievements of five of these vanguards were set out in the NHS Confederation report.

'At this stage of the programme, what the vanguards are doing on prevention is very much emerging practice rather than evaluated practice,' said the NHS Confederation study.

'But given the ambition to deliver the GP Forward View vision at scale and pace, we hope that the case studies will prove to be a valuable resource for other organisations and partnerships developing new care models across the country.'

GP Forward View

Early signs of a reduction in emergency admissions for the over 65s were noted at All Together Better Sunderland.

At West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing, four in five local patients referred to a social prescribing service in the last 12 months said it had improved their wellbeing.

Wakefield District’s Connecting Care vanguard said it had provided a named primary care professional to care home managers.

Health in Solihull identified three hotspot areas where vulnerable people would be encouraged to find solutions in their community.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the report showed the need to rebuild primary care teams around GP practices.

'Practices used to know their district nurse and social worker but that’s all evaporated,' he said. 'The move to geography-based community nursing has created a separation that has added to GP workloads.

'We need the NHS to prioritise investment in community based services, and to spend more of our GDP on healthcare.'

Photo: iStock

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