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Caring for older people » Supporting families »

Liz visits innovative integrated care service

[22/03/2013 | No comment]

Edwinstowe health centre work shadowing March 2013Most people want to stay living in their own homes as they get older. But it can be really difficult if you are frail or disabled and have a long term health problem, and especially if you’re on your own and your family doesn’t live nearby.

I went to Edwinstowe near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire to see what the local NHS and council are doing to help improve care and support. Instead of having the GPs, district nurse, community matron, physio, occupational therapist, social worker and mental health nurses working in different places they have brought them all together into one integrated care team.

This has helped really join up services and support for people like Liz Storres who has a health condition that makes her really breathless. She also suffers from bad knees, which makes it difficult for her to get around.

Not long ago Mrs Storres was frequently ringing 999 and regularly ending up in hospital. She eventually went in to a care home which cost over £400 a week.

Now, with help from Edwinstowe’s integrated care team, Mrs Storres is back at home with a care package that costs £100 a week. The OT has sorted out various home adaptations to make it easier for her. A home care assistant helps get her up, washed and dressed and then back into bed at night. The community matron helps makes sure she takes her medicines properly and a mental health nurse helps her cope with her anxiety. Mrs Storres is settling in well, and planning to start painting again, and knitting a present for her new great grandchild.

I think integrated “whole person care” services like this should be available to everyone who needs them. That’s what Labour’s health and care policy review – which I am leading – will seek to achieve.

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