Health teams having a positive impact in Lincolnshire

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A pilot scheme to create neighbourhood health teams across Lincolnshire is giving patients better access to care, according to a report.

Members of the county council’s health scrutiny committee were given an update on the Lincolnshire Health and Care project on Friday last week.

Neighbourhood teams, which aim to bring together various aspects of health and social care, were introduced in Stamford, Skegness, Lincoln and Sleaford last year.

The teams have been working with patients in these areas with the ultimate aim of reducing hospital trips and moving care closer to home.

The report to councillors gave an example of an elderly couple living near Stamford who had been helped by their neighbourhood team.

The husband’s poor health, including hearing problems, a breathing disorder and mental health issues, were passed to the team by his GP. After a review of the case by a multi-disciplinary panel, the couple were assigned a care co-ordinator to look at how best to keep the husband safe and reduce the risk of falls.

The husband was also referred to the Alzheimer’s Society for extra support, given an emergency carer’s plan to support his wife, and offered help setting up a budget for suitable daytime activities.

Lincolnshire Adult Social Care was also asked to review the husband’s care plan and look into arranging personal and domestic care.

According to the report, Lincolnshire Health and Care hopes to set up 18 neighbourhood teams by September. This figure would include two teams covering the Bourne and Deepings areas.

Staff from the various health and care organisations across Lincolnshire have been kept up to date with the progress of the pilot throughout.

More than 200 staff attended stakeholder events in Skegness, where developments and experiences within the programme were shared. Staff had the opportunity to feed in their own thoughts on the pilot.

Regular newsletters are also sent out to keep people up to date on progress.

Positive feedback includes better tracking of vulnerable patients, better understanding between professionals, eased pressure on Lincoln County Hospital’s accident and emergency department and quicker exchange of information.

Councillors noted the comments in the report and recognised the importance of the teams.