Changes to community NHS services in the Harrogate district which are designed to ensure continued provision of safe and effective care at an affordable cost are due to be implemented in the coming weeks.
The fast tracking of the ‘What Matters to Us’ New Care Models programme is now taking place. This programme provides access to 24/7 prevention, advice and information for individuals who need support. It is designed to transform how care is provided in each part of the local system, with new ways of working in GP practices, community and hospital based services.
The new integrated teams consist of community and mental health nurses, social workers, pharmacists, care support workers and physiotherapists and occupational therapists working together alongside GPs to make sure patient care is as joined up as possible.
The pilot site in Knaresborough, Green Hammerton and Boroughbridge was implemented earlier in 2016 and is working well. Three more areas in Harrogate North, Harrogate South and Ripon and Rural are now being fast-tracked so that the whole of Harrogate and Rural District will be covered.
In addition to this, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and Harrogate and Rural District NHS Clinical Commissioning Group have been working collaboratively to agree the most cost effective ways of providing the full range of Community Services for local people. National funding constraints mean that the funding available for community services has fallen and it more important than ever to review how care is provided.
The majority of the changes to services provided by the Trust will be in Adult Community Nursing and Therapy services. This includes district nursing, community rehab and therapy, the Fast Response Team and the Long Term Conditions Team. Also impacted will be the Community Stroke Team, the Heart Failure Community Nurses, Tissue Viability and the Specialist Continence Service. The new ways of working will be implemented from 1 September 2016.
Dr Ros Tolcher, Chief Executive of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Pushing ahead with our ‘What Matters to Us’ project means that as a health and social care system we are driving forward our plans for new ways of providing integrated out-of-hospital care. It’s a positive step forward for patients following the successful pilot earlier in the year.
“As a result of the reduced funding available for community services we are fast-tracking the roll out of New Care Models, taking care to protect the quality and accessibility of services.
“The reduced budget means that working differently is now more important than ever. Careful thought has been given to how we can work differently in response to this financial challenge and to continue to provide and maintain high quality and safe services for our patients. The views of staff and existing services users have been taken in to consideration.
“We recognise that changing the way in which services are provided can be a source of concern to the people who rely upon them. We are keen to have feedback and to respond to any queries early to avoid anxiety or concern. We would urge any patients or carers who have questions about their care or the services we provide to talk to staff members. Alternatively, they can get in touch with us via Pam Blythe and the Management Admin Team on 01423 553041 who will pass on concerns from patients or carers to the Matron for Community Adult Services.”
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