New care home service helps to keep Lincoln residents out of hospital

People living in Lincoln nursing homes are benefiting from a new service which is helping to reduce unnecessary visits to hospital.

The Lincoln Care Home Service is a team of doctors, nurses and therapists from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust who are aiming to visit every nursing and residential home in the Lincoln area over the next two years.

The team assesses every resident of each home, reviewing medications and assessments of cognition, mobility, mental capacity and future care needs.

By the end of the period they aim to have reviewed more than 1,000 people in 22 homes.

In the first three months since the team visited one care home in Lincoln, the number of hospital admissions for their residents reduced by 64% compared with the previous quarter.

The service, which has been funded by the Bromhead Medical Charity, has been nominated for a national Fab NHS Award by the Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff.

Occupational therapist Graham Wilson said: “The work we do is about assessing the current condition of each resident, the care that they are being provided with and how that can be improved so that they do not end up in hospital unnecessarily.

“We have a nutritionist, occupational therapist, doctor, nurses and a physiotherapist as part of the team so that, together with the resident and their family, we can look at the whole picture and ask how each person can be best cared for where they are.

“Some of the cases we see are residents nearing the end of their life. We can work together to make sure they have the best possible care at the end of their life, in the right place for them.”

Consultant in Older People’s Service Dr Gill Garden said: “There is evidence that services such as this not only save money through avoiding hospital admissions and appropriate use of medicines, but that mortality rates are reduced and that satisfaction levels are higher.”