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Fylde coast healthcare leading the way for others

31st March 2017

In an announcement today, Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS in England provided an update on the progress of the NHS Five Year Forward View, the national plan to transform the healthcare system and address the challenges faced.

It comes as organisations across the Fylde coast continue working together to improve outcomes and care for local people, reduce pressures on services and manage the financial pressures.

It is this work which has been highlighted by NHS England as exemplar and will be of great benefit to other surrounding areas within Lancashire and South Cumbria. New ways of working across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre will be shared with other local areas via the Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria programme.

On the Fylde coast, the focus has been on improving the range of care available to people in the community, away from hospital. This not only means care closer to home for local people, helping them to stay well and avoid conditions worsening to the point of needing a hospital admission; but it also helps the local NHS purse, reduces pressures on hospitals and GPs; and improves patient experiences.

Local and national investment has seen the introduction of the community based Extensive Care service, designed to provide specific support to patients over 60 with multiple long-term conditions.

Since the launch in June 2015, almost 2,000 people have been referred to the service which now operates from four sites across the area (Moor Park Health and Wellbeing Centre, South Shore Primary Care Centre, Wyre Civic Centre and Lytham Primary Care Centre) serving all of the local GP practices. The aim of the service is to help patients understand and manage their conditions better. As a result the amount of times these people need to access hospital services, GPs, ambulances and other services has fallen. With the latest data from this group of patients showing:

  • 9% fewer A&E attendances
  • 15% fewer unplanned hospital admissions
  • 19% fewer planned hospital admissions
  • 6% fewer out-patient attendances

These reductions could equate to around a £500,000 saving for the local healthcare system.

Supplementing this dedicated service, local people are also now benefitting from the introduction of new ‘Neighbourhood Care Teams’ across the Fylde coast. This began in late 2016 and has continued into 2017.

Wendy Swift, interim chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We’ve seen a great impact on patients’ experiences of care and the reduction in their use of services as a result of the Extensive Care Service. Now with the introduction of the Neighbourhood Care Teams we’re able to support even more patients in the community.”

“The aim is to provide people with more proactive support so that they are able to understand and manage their conditions and other factors in their day-to-day life better. In turn, we know that this will reduce the likelihood of people needing unplanned hospital treatment or frequent appointments with their GP.”

These see a team of nurses, therapists, wellbeing workers, healthcare assistants and other support staff based in each of 10 local ‘neighbourhoods’ – natural geographic areas such as Central Blackpool or Lytham and the neighbouring Ansdell and St Anne’s.

Working alongside existing community services and doctors within their local area, the teams provide support to people over the age of 18 who are deemed to need some extra help to prevent their health from worsening.

This may be because they are living with a long-term condition such as diabetes or heart problems such as hypertension for example. Although, other factors such as lifestyle habits and how a carer might be coping also form part of the assessment.

Dr Tony Naughton, a Thornton GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group said: ““Over the last few years we’ve put a real focus into doing things differently. We knew that to meet the challenges we face we couldn’t just continue to do more of the same.

“We know we have made great progress so far, but there are further steps we know we can and need to make.”

Over the coming months, organisations on the Fylde coast will be progressing developments to introduce ‘accountable care’ locally.

Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Blackpool CCG said: “This means us working more closely in a collaborative way to make decisions together in the interest of our local communities.

“The pressures the NHS is under are well-known and so making best use of the money, staff and services we have is crucial.

“We’ve had some early conversations about different ways of working and over the coming weeks and months will develop more detailed plans after talking with staff, GPs and others.”

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