How we’re doing things differently and together this winter
Staff across the NHS, community, council, and care teams are working together to help keep residents of Cornwall happy, healthy and closer to home this winter.
Susan Bracefield, Chief Nurse for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said:
“We are investing more this winter to bolster our health and care services and provide more in the comfort of people’s homes and communities as much as possible.
“There is lots of evidence to show the benefits of supporting people at home and in their local communities – improved mental health, faster recovery and better longer term health.”
Healthcare at home
For those who need health care this winter the NHS in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has established Integrated Transfer of Care Hubs which will enable health professionals such as GPs to arrange urgent care for their patients locally to help prevent them from needing to go to hospital or to get them home more quickly.
Three Community Assessment Treatment Units at Camborne and Redruth, Bodmin and West Cornwall Hospital are providing an alternative place for frail and vulnerable people to go rather than going to the Emergency Department. The units enable people to be seen by medical staff and then return more quickly to the comfort and safety of their home.
There’s also extra hospital care available in the comfort of your own home through virtual wards which have been expanded to support even more people at home. They allow people to be treated and diagnosed both in person and remotely through technology and phone calls. This helps people to retain their independence and social networks.
Across Cornwall there are even more community hubs this winter providing advice, activities or just a warm place for a cup of tea and company.
June Jobbins moved to Cornwall to be closer to family but was feeling lonely before she started using her local hub, “it’s been a lifesaver; I’m getting to know new people whilst trying to make a different life for myself after my husband died. I’m also more confident about trying new things on my own.”
Last winter, there were more than 50,000 attendances across Cornwall’s community hubs and over half of hub members said they would have approached the NHS for support if it hadn’t been available through the community hub.
Meanwhile the successful Community Gateway helpline will continue to support professionals and the public to arrange personalised care. It has trained staff who can listen to what matters most to people and ensure they get the support they need to help keep them from needing to be admitted to hospital or get them home. It’s open 8am to 8pm every day, including Christmas day.
Among those who have been helped are Faith; who was supported to access benefits she was entitled to and meet others at an armchair yoga group. Community Gateway staff also supported Edward who had been recently bereaved, recently discharged from hospital and was finding life challenging. Edward was connected to cleaning and gardening services, offered a bereavement telephone service and introduced to groups for men and veterans.
Emma Rowse, chief executive of Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum says:
“Keeping people well is about so much more than just medical care, because we know often people need practical support or someone to talk to.
“Loneliness has a huge impact on people’s health, which is why we are working with the NHS to offer over 40 community hubs across Cornwall, a community gateway helpline for advice and support and other initiatives that help people get out of hospital.”