NHS South Sefton CCG & NHS Southport and Formby CCG: Will you be part of Europe’s biggest healthcare survey?

More than two million people are being given an opportunity to tell the NHS about their experiences of using services at their GP practice. The GP Patient Survey invites a sample of people aged 16 and over from over 7,000 practices across England to take part.

Southport Care homes unite against dementia for awareness week

CARE home bosses from Southport have met for the first time in the town to help raise awareness of dementia across the care spectrum.

Organised by the Athena Health Care group, Parklands Lodge, Abbey Wood, Aaron Crest, Dale Park, Marine Care Home, the Promenade Rest Home and Aaronmore Park care home staff met at the Marine Lake cafe on the Promenade last week as part of Dementia Awareness Week

Sefton celebrates children in care at No Limits Awards

Local children in care recently took to the red carpet as they shone at an award ceremony to celebrate their achievements.
Ben Willan Winner Pic

Held on November 18 at the Floral Hall in Southport’s Theatre and Convention Centre, the Sefton No Limits Challenge Awards are now in their 15th year. This year’s ceremony was bigger than ever, with over 200 children and young people nominated for 25 prizes by foster carers, social workers and teachers.

The awards acknowledge a young person’s achievement in a learning environment, whether in school, further education or an alternative setting through diversity, effort, attitude, progress and challenge.

Awards are not based solely on academic progress as they can be won by showing improvement in attendance, personal development, skills and knowledge.

No Limits was opened by local care leaver Joanne Lee, who was followed by The Worshipful Mayor of Sefton, Cllr. Iain Brodie-Brown, who handed medals, certificates and prizes to children and young people.

While everyone deserved their nomination, there could only be one winner, with the first prize handed to Ben Willan by John-Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding at Sefton Council, for his outstanding improvement and progress in his personal development. He was closely followed by joint runners up Jaydon Lavelle and Kayleigh Pilcher, who were recognised as great examples for other children by “going the extra mile” inside and outside school.

Sponsorship is vital to No Limits and this year’s event was possible with support from local organisations and teams at the Local Authority including:  ‘Our Place’ Sefton Care Leavers Centre; Homescope; Parenting 2000; Southport Soroptmists; Crosby Soroptimists; Sefton Governors Association; Sefton CVS; Children’s Services, Library Service and the Integrated Youth Service at Sefton Council.

An award was sponsored for the first time by Sefton Council employee Margaret Porter and her son Mark in loving memory of her late husband Alan.

Cllr. John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “It is great to see that the No Limits Challenge Awards are still going strong and continue to celebrate the efforts and achievements our looked after children, which is so important for their development.

“While rightly proud of the children and young people, I want to extend congratulations to the tireless team who organise the event, as well as the many social workers, foster carers, teachers and special guardians who took the time to nominate winners and nominees.”

Nicky Walsh, Head at Sefton’s Virtual School for looked after children and project lead for No Limits also commented: “Seeing first-hand how hard our children and young people work and the way the aspire to be the very best they can be, makes it all the more rewarding to be involved in an event such as the No Limits Challenge Awards, where we have the chance to celebrate their achievements.

“It was great to see so many children and young people filling the floral hall and looking so smart as they received their certificates. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.”

PCC launches new service to improve care for vulnerable adults in police custody

Vulnerable adults in Merseyside will be given improved care when they are detained in police custody thanks to a new scheme commissioned by the region’s Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy stepped in after being made aware by Merseyside Police about the delays in obtaining Appropriate Adults to support people with learning disabilities, those in mental ill health or those who present as particularly vulnerable and who are being held in police cells.

Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, which regulates the actions of the police service, Appropriate Adults are required when vulnerable detainees are being booked into custody and also when they are being interviewed, either after being arrested or when they have voluntarily attended at a police station.

Despite this, Merseyside Police were reporting that vulnerable people were often being forced to wait to be dealt with because of a shortage of available Appropriate Adults in the region. These delays make them even more vulnerable and worsen their situation.

In partnership with the Force, the Commissioner has developed a new service to address these concerns. Following an open selection process, the Commissioner has today announced that she has appointed The Appropriate Adult Service (TAAS) to provide Appropriate Adults for all detained vulnerable people, seven days a week for a six-month pilot period.

Appropriate Adults are specially trained individuals who can assist vulnerable detainees to understand the custody process. They provide independent and impartial support and act as advocates, ensuring that detainees understand their rights, are treated fairly and assist with communication between the person and officials.

During this pilot programme the Commissioner, Merseyside Police and other partner agencies will evaluate the service in order to determine how a long term service should work. TAAS already provide this service in other police force areas and have a 100% record in meeting all referrals.

Jane said: “If a vulnerable person is detained, the first action of the police is always to try and find a suitable family member, carer or guardian who can provide care and support. Sadly, not everyone has someone on hand who can provide that level of help.

“In those cases where a vulnerable adult has no support, an Appropriate Adult can be a real lifeline. So I was concerned to hear that Merseyside Police were finding there were often significant delays when trying to obtain somebody who could step in to act as an advocate for them.

“It is imperative a vulnerable person has the right help and support and is dealt with as quickly as possible. People who have learning disabilities, are experiencing mental health problems or are particularly vulnerable should not be detained any longer than absolutely necessary.

“By commissioning The Appropriate Adult Service to provide this service my aim is to reduce delays and unnecessary stress for vulnerable people, make sure they understand their rights and in turn improve the care they receive.

“I am pleased that The Appropriate Adult Service are now co-ordinating this service on Merseyside and I would like to recognise and thank those who give their time and energy to support others at often a difficult time.”

An Appropriate Adult should be someone who is completely independent of both the police and the detained person. They should have a sound understanding of, and experience or training in, dealing with the needs of someone who is in mental ill health or has a mental disorder.

Merseyside Police’s Chief Superintendent Carl Krueger said: “Merseyside Police would welcome any additional support to assist the vulnerable people in our communities.

“We understand that being detained in custody can be a stressful experience and any delays can make the situation feel even worse for a vulnerable person.

“Having this extra support at hand means that vulnerable people can be dealt with quicker and they are not detained any longer than they need to be.”

The Commissioner has provided £50,000 to provide this service for a six-month pilot period so that the level of need can be assessed in the short term. She will look to work with the region’s local authorities so a long term pan-Merseyside service can be established.

Find out more about the Appropriate Adult scheme here.

Better Care in my Hands: Care Quality Commission’s Report into People’s Involvement in their Care

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England. We make sure that hospitals, care homes, dental and GP surgeries and other care services in England provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care, and we encourage them to make improvements.

CQC is publishing a report into the extent and quality of people’s involvement in their health and social care, based on new analysis of CQC’s national reports and inspection findings and on national patient surveys.

People’s right to being involved in their own care is enshrined in law in the fundamental standards of care. It is an essential part of person-centred care and leads to better and often more cost effective outcomes. This is particularly true for those with long term conditions or people who need to use services more intensively. The NHS Five Year Forward View and the Care Act place renewed focus on improving this area of care and CQC can take enforcement action against providers of care services that fail to meet this standard. This report is timely because as health and social care services reconfigure to adapt to the changing needs of their populations there is an opportunity to make sure person centred care becomes a reality for more people. The report identifies what enables people’s involvement in their own care and provides examples of good practice identified by CQC inspectors. CQC will use the findings from this report to strengthen our regulation and reporting of people’s involvement in their care.

Our key findings are:

Recent national patient survey data shows that just over half of those surveyed report feeling definitely involved in decisions about their health care and treatment, and this includes people’s responses for care in hospitals and in the community.

Women who use maternity services are particularly positive about how well they are involved in decisions about their care.We found examples of good practice of people’s involvement in their care in our inspections over the last year. However, there has been little change in people’s perceptions of how well they are involved in their health or social care over the last five years. A significant minority of people have consistently reported only feeling involved in their care to some extent or not at all over this period.

CQC’s national reports and thematic reviews from the last five years consistently show that some groups of people are less involved in their care than others. This is confirmed by new analysis of patient surveys. They are:

– Adults and young people with long term physical and mental health conditions.
– People with a learning disability.
– People over 75 years old.

We have also reported a lack of progress over the last six years in involving people in their care when they are detained under the Mental Health Act. Poor involvement in care is the biggest issue we found in monitoring the use of the Mental Health Act in 2014/15.

There are common problems in health and social care services, which can create a vicious circle of poor involvement particularly for those using different services or using services over a long period of time. These include:

– Failure to assess and monitor people’s capacity to make decisions about their care and to provide advocacy support
– Limited understanding , recording and monitoring of people’s wishes and preferences
– Inadequate family and carer involvement
– Lack of information and explanation of care and support options


South Sefton CCG Scheme to Improve Support in Care Homes

A programme, launched by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is the first of its kind in the North West to offer care homes a comprehensive package of support to look after their residents.

The Care Home Innovation Programme (CHIP) brings together several initiatives to improve the quality of care homes such as community matron visits, standardisation of protocols, a bi-monthly quality improvement collaborative meeting and training for care home staff.

Due to its success the programme has recently been highlighted in the newly published end of life thematic review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an example of good practice.

Dr Peter Chamberlain, GP and lead clinician for strategy and innovation at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Our population in south Sefton is getting older at a much higher rate than the national average, which is why we’ve developed CHIP. The number of residents being sent in and out of hospital has always been a cause for concern as we know it’s not good for their mental or physical health. A huge factor of our training is to allow patients to be treated in the place they live to cause as little upset as possible.

“Bringing together the different elements of care into one program differentiates us from others and we are very proud of the CHIP initiative. The community matrons and our care home staff do a fantastic job and are highly trained in dealing with many situations. The regular collaborative meetings also work well and encourage integrated working to ensure that each resident receives the best care for them.”

An important element of CHIP is the televideo system which is now in most care homes in south Sefton. The use of televideo offers care home staff with a range of NHS services through a single point of contact, 24 hours a day, providing community based alternatives to going to A&E.

Chamberlain continues: “We are always looking to improve the programme and it’s fantastic that we are starting to see the results from the use of televideo in south Sefton. The aim of this is to prevent residents having to go into hospital when they don’t need to and more importantly improving the quality of experience for patients. With the right advice and by being able to see the patient through video the skilled team can manage most situations from Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.”

Bernadette Makaza Muzavazi, home manager at Orrell Grange nursing home in Bootle, is just one of the people who have a CHIP success story. She said: “In December one of our residents suddenly became critically ill becoming increasingly agitated and distressed as his breathing started to become laboured.

She said: “As soon as this was noticed, one of the staff quickly dialled Airedale. While they were talking to them, a senior carer completed the communication form and took all the physical observations, while one of the nurses was reassuring the resident and keeping an eye on him at all times.

“The practitioner asked us to take the televideo laptop to the resident’s room so she could see the resident. While this was all taking place, a paramedic was in attendance and took over doing all the physical observations including an electrocardiogram (ECG) on the patient’s heart. The ambulance crew arrived in 20 minutes in case the resident had to proceed to the hospital.

“As the resident was becoming more settled and the paramedic requested for a GP visit on site the ambulance crew was sent back. The GP visited and prescribed antibiotics and steroids. The resident made a full recovery and was treated in the comfort of his own familiar environment surrounded by familiar faces.

“Prior to CHIP and Orrell Grange using telemedicine, this would have been a typical 999 call with all the hospital drama. Research shows that hospital environment or change of environment has detrimental effects to elderly people and especially people who suffer from Dementia.

“We all had a group hug following this CHIP success story. It was a good job well done, professionally and efficiently.

“Thank you to the CHIP team for adding in the use of televideo and to Airedale for arranging all three services within a short space of time. We had a paramedic, ambulance crew and a GP in attendance within a short space of time. Well done Orrell Grange staff too, 90% of our staff are now confident and competent with using tele video through training and practice organised by the CCG.”

Peter Chamberlain at the CCG said: “Bernadette’s story is just one of the many we receive and it highlights the televideo element of CHIP which is only one aspect of the program. It is fantastic to see it all coming together and to hear that it’s working. The team here at the CCG has worked hard to combine the different initiatives and to roll them out to all our care homes. The training through the collaborative meetings and through Edge Hill University is invaluable for staff giving them more confidence when caring for residents. We are now starting to see the results and this is only one example.”

‘Think Local Act Personal’ – Care & Support Jargon Buster

The Care and Support Jargon Buster is a plain English guide to the most commonly used social care words and phrases and what they mean. The definitions are plain English rather than legal, and were developed and tested by a steering group that included people who use services, carers, representatives from local authorities, information providers and key stakeholders from across the social care sector.

The Care and Support Jargon Buster won a Plain English Campaign Award in 2013.

Click here to visit the Jargon Buster website.