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New health & social care team improves care to Richmond residents

Tuesday 1 October 2013

A new joint health and social care service in Richmond will start improving care and providing vital support to residents from October 2013.

The Richmond Response and Rehabilitation Team will aim to provide seamless care to residents, support recovery and enable people to stay independent, in control of their own wellbeing, fit and healthy, as well as staying out of hospital, residential or nursing care, no matter their particular care need. The service is primarily for elderly residents, people with a permanent disability and people who are in need of rehabilitation following a temporary illness or crisis at home.

Whereas traditionally, people would receive separate care from health professionals and social care professionals, one team will now work together to provide seamless, high quality care for residents. The new service is bringing together nurses and therapists from Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH), together with therapists and social workers from the London Borough of Richmond Council, into one service enabling a more person-centred approach.

The service will focus on offering a flexible period of support from the whole team depending on the person’s wishes, needs and independence. The service will operate seven days a week, accepting referrals and preventing people going into hospital when they could receive appropriate treatment in their own home. The service will also stretch investment from the NHS and the Council, to provide wider and more effective rehabilitation for Richmond residents.

The newly integrated service will also work closely with local GPs, and hospitals - including Kingston Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital, to support people to be discharged from hospital as quickly as possible and continuing independence at home. A clear care pathway following discharge from hospital, will ensure people get the right care, at the time and for the duration they need it, from appropriate highly skilled workers.

Jo Manley, Director of Operations at HRCH, said: “The new service will support people in the community to help ensure they are getting the right care, at the right place and time for them and to help avoid unnecessary extra time spent in hospital. People should experience a smooth, effective and personal service from a team of health and social carers that focuses on what is most important to the person.”

Cllr David Marlow, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Housing, said: “As part of our plans to achieve greater integration between health and social care this is the first of our services to join up with our health partners.

“Over the past few months our officers have worked closely with NHS colleagues to explore exactly how a joint service could work and the benefits it will have. This new service will now be available seven days a week and will work in the acute hospitals to help prevent unnecessary admissions.

“This service will mean that those residents who potentially require both social care and health support, who might be suffering from ill health or increased frailty, will have a more joined up response from those who care for them.”

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