This 'linked-up' healthcare is working well for patients in Teesside
Teamwork between an NHS trust and a borough council is helping people to access the health care they need more easily.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Hartlepool Borough Council have teamed up to make access to health and social care for adults within the community a simpler process, to ensure patients reach the ‘right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time’.
The Integrated Single Point of Access service aims to deliver care, support and rehabilitation, with a collection of partners, to the community in a simple but effective manner.
Bob Warnock, senior clinical professional, said: “The team is made up of a nurse clinical triage, social care, occupational and physiotherapy.
“Our main focus is the four main avenues of intermediate care, crisis response, bed, and home-based intermediate care services, and reablement.
"In addition to this work, all community based nursing services are funneled through the iSPA team.
“The team has recently expanded to include mental health services, with plans to include voluntary services co-ordination over the coming months.”
In a bid to make the hospital and care processes for people in and around Hartlepool as seamless as possible, staff from both the Trust and the Council work together in the same place.
Each referral that comes into the iSPA is discussed to allow for an appropriate response.
Lynn Morgan, senior clinical matron, said: “The results speak for themselves, as with the recent case of the 80-year-old gentleman, who presented as a crisis within the community.
“Contact was made with iSPA who were able to quickly mobilise an appropriate health and social care response to meet the individual’s multi-faceted needs, enabling him to remain safely at home.
“Prior to iSPA the likely outcome would have been admission to hospital or a fragmented response across health and social care.”
Eoin Carroll, Head of Service, Hartlepool Borough Council, said: ‘The development of iSPA over the past year has seen a significant shift in the way we manage patient flow through our health and social care system.
“The impact can be seen through performance indicators such as ‘Delayed Transfers of Care’ which over the past year has fallen well below the national target set for Hartlepool.“