Patients with long term conditions could soon be treated at home thanks to a £4.26m cash injection, which in turn could help Blackpool’s cash-strapped hospital cut its multi million pound deficit.
The coast is set to lead the way for the rest of the country under a pioneering new scheme as the money is used to develop new models of care which will act as the pattern for other health authorities.
It is much better if we can keep people well in their own home. A lot of the treatments we deliver in hospital we can do outside hospital equally well
The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) cash will see health and social care tailored around the patient with more support delivered in the heart of the community and less in hospital.
Last week bosses at Blackpool Victoria Hospital revealed that the Vic faces an £11m deficit as it struggles to cope with £20m cut in funding.
Gary Doherty, chief executive of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospital Trust, said then that new ways of caring for some patients in the community would have to be adopted to reduce time spent in hospital beds.
Now the £4.26m will help ease that crisis by paying for more staff and equipment allowing health and social care groups to work together to provide a joined up care system which will help cut unnecessary hospital visits.
The Fylde Coast was chosen as one of a select few vanguard sites in England, helping to lead the way in delivering the vision for the future of the NHS.
Health bosses said work had already begun to deliver some of these benefits.
A new Extensive Care service was launched in June this year providing proactive care for elderly and frail patients with two or more long-term conditions, dramatically reducing the need for unplanned hospital visits.
It means patients with multiple conditions, for example, breathing problems and dementia or heart issues, will have a team focussing on their care.
Currently delivered at Moor Park Primary Care Centre in Blackpool and Lytham Primary Care Centre, the funding will pay for more staff and equipment to now spread the pioneering scheme across the Fylde Coast from next April.
There are also additional plans which will see GPs working in neighbourhoods alongside community care and social workers.
Supported by shared electronic care records and a single point of contact for all out-of-hospital services, this will ensure seamless care for every patient across the Fylde Coast.
Welcoming the announcement of the funding, Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We spend a huge proportion of our funding on hospital services to do things we could do equally well out in the community.
“It is much better if we can keep people well in their own home. A lot of the treatments we deliver in hospital we can do outside hospital equally well.”
She said it was not good for them to be continually admitted into hospital and teamwork between GPs, community services, district nurses, health visitors, mental health nurses physiotherapists and occupational therapists would serve them better and save money.
She said: “This significant investment demonstrates strong support for our plans which we know are ambitious but achievable.
“All the partners involved in the Fylde Coast vanguard are confident we will tackle the challenges and deliver the changes highlighted in the Five Year Forward View for the NHS. They will enable us to empower both staff and patients; engage with carers and care workers; and revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered on the Fylde Coast.”
Dr Tony Naughton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “This money will allow us to accelerate the development of new services that we had already planned to deliver over the coming years.
“Among these developments are the introduction of Extensive Care facilities – two of which are already being piloted in Lytham and Blackpool – which looks after the small percentage of the population that is most vulnerable and suffering from multiple long-term health conditions.
“It will also help us significantly change the way that GPs work to offer enhanced services from next April as they will be able to look after those people who are most vulnerable more effectively than they do now.”
“We are of course delighted to have received this funding, which is a ringing endorsement of the way we are looking to change the way we care for patients, empowering them to look after their own health needs while also empowering GPs to do all the good work they are truly capable of.”
Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that the Fylde coast vanguard bid has been granted this funding.
“We must do more to keep people out of hospital and treat them in or near their homes. Fundamental change will produce better care, better value for money and better health outcomes for local people.”
Samantha Jones, Director – New Care Models Programme at NHS England said: “The changes they have planned will help deliver a raft of benefits for patients, local people and staff.”