Long-term ill get new lifeline aid


PEOPLE in Wigan borough living with long-term health conditions are being helped thanks to a new scheme aimed at keeping them out of hospital.

The King’s Fund, an organisation that carries out research into health and social care provision, says those living with long-term conditions have a 30 per cent or higher risk of needing unexpected hospital care.

Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) has been working with local health and social care providers to help people with long-term conditions who are at most risk of being unexpectedly admitted to hospital.

Health chiefs say that by identifying those residents and working with service providers to develop Integrated Neighbourhood Teams, WBCCG has been able to target services and support those who need them most.

Integrated Neighbourhood Teams bring together relevant professionals from all the different health and social care providers (GPs, Wigan Council, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust and 5 Borough Partnership NHS Foundation Trust).

They say that by working with the person to develop a care plan that covers all their health and social care needs, the teams support people to stay well at home and, when they need services, use those nearer to them in the community.

Since April 2013, 2,900 patients have been reviewed, with 1,100 referrals to the Integrated Neighbourhood teams and 750 care plans developed. WBCCG says that because they are getting the care they need closer to home, on average these patients now attend A&E a third less than previously, with some people more than halving their trips - which reduces the pressure on our local A&E.

WBCCG chairman Dr Tim Dalton said: “It is early days for these teams and this new way of working, but initial results are very positive. They suggest that by working together in a co-ordinated and integrated way with GP practice teams at the heart, health and social care providers in the borough can improve the lives of residents.

“This will make sure that those that are most dependent on the hospital get access to the support they need in the community and are able to stay well and at home. I am very proud of the work the CCG has been leading with our partner provider organisations.”