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Care Minister visits local community health services

MP Alistair Burt with chief executive Patricia Wright

Friday 13 May 2016

Alistair Burt, MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care,  visited Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH) in May 2016 to hear first-hand from health professionals and patients about its approach to community healthcare. 

Mr Burt spent more than two hours at the Heart of Hounslow Centre for Health, west London, for a tour of some of the trust’s services. 

The Minister was accompanied on his visit by Kathryn Evans, the national community nurse advisor for NHS England and Robert Parsons, provider policy manager at the Department of Health. 

Patricia Wright, the trust’s chief executive, hosted Mr Burt’s visit. Patricia said: “The Minister demonstrated a real interest in the work being done at the trust, as well as in our plans for the future. We were able to showcase the care we provide for people away from hospital and closer to home.”  

The visit provided the Minister with a flavour of what community services look like in the context of integration and innovation. The Minister spoke to staff delivering key community services as well as to a number of patients and service users.   

At the Wheelchair and Posture Management Service, the Minister gained an overview of this specialist service and the equipment provided to local patients.  He observed a demonstration of a sleep systems and heard about the innovative sleep system service, which is the first of its kind in the UK.  

At the Paediatric Audiology service, an IQIP accredited specialist hearing service for local children, Mr Burt observed specialised hearing tests for babies and spoke to parents and staff.  

The Minister was briefed about the trust’s community nursing and rehabilitation services for adults in Hounslow, visiting the Integrated Community Response Service (ICRS); the Community Recovery Service (CRS); and the trust’s Community Nursing service. He met staff and heard about patient journeys – from acute rehabilitation to intermediate care, with holistic care provided in the home environment. 

The visit concluded with the Learning Disability team, a multi-agency team - who not only deliver direct care to patients, but also act as an advisory service to other groups of patients. 

At the end of the visit the trust hosted a roundtable meeting with the Minister attended by community healthcare leaders from around the country, members of the NHS Confederation Community Services Network.