Quest for Quality in Care Homes, a model of care which has significantly reduced the number of hospital stays for care home residents in Calderdale over the past year, is in the running for a 2015 Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare award.
The Quest for Quality in Care Homes initiative, developed by NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Calderdale Council and Tunstall Healthcare Ltd, has been shortlisted in the awards’ value and improvement in using IT to support integrated healthcare services category.
The Quest for Quality in Care Homes initiative increases support given to 25 care homes in Calderdale. The model helps to improve safety and independence by using telecare to help manage risks such as falls. Telehealth systems are also used to support people with long term conditions by recording their vital signs. A multi-disciplinary team monitors the data collected and uses it to support care home staff to proactively manage the care needs of older people and advise on a range of issues, such as medicines management.
First implemented in 2013, the initiative saw the UK’s largest deployment of telehealth monitoring technology into care homes. The model also uses this technology to support patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) living in their own homes.
Quest for Quality in Care Homes gives patients control over their conditions, increasing their independence and reducing the number, and cost, of unplanned and unnecessary hospital admissions. The programme has already helped more than 1000 people in 25 care homes (over half the care homes in Calderdale) and has had immediate and tangible results, both in terms of patients’ quality of life and efficiency in healthcare spending:
- Between April 2014 and April 2015 the number of hospital stays following emergency admissions to hospital for Quest residents was 25% lower than the same period in 2013/14. This represents healthcare savings of over £450,000.
- Average length of hospital stay for Quest residents has reduced significantly.
- Emergency hospital readmissions, within 7 days for residents of Quest for Quality care homes in 2014/15 was 31% lower than 2013/14.
- The average number of requests per residents for GP home visits for Sept 2014 – March 2015 is 58% lower than for non-Quest residents.
Dr Steven Cleasby, Calderdale CCG’s Assistant Clinical Chair and clinical lead for care homes and safeguarding said: “ Telehealth and telecare helps us to encourage self-management and better care and support. In turn this reduces costs caused in part by unnecessary hospital and GP visits.
“Working with GPs, we have identified the opportunity to help people with long-term conditions, and to better manage the risks of everyday living for local care home residents, reducing the pressure on services and enhancing quality of life.”
Rhona Radley, Calderdale CCG’s Senior Service Improvement Manager said of the initiative’s inclusion in the value and improvement in using IT to support integrated healthcare services’ category: “We at Calderdale CCG are delighted that the Quest for Quality in Care Homes initiative has been recognised for the benefits it brings to people living with long term health conditions in our area.
“The initiative is a major part of our Care Closer to Home programme, which focuses on transforming community services in Calderdale to benefit people of all ages. The technology behind Quest for Quality in Care Homes gives people the power to manage their own healthcare, safe in the knowledge that there is a comprehensive infrastructure there to offer support whenever they need it.”