Over £1 million invested in a new community service to support people to stay in their own home rather than going to hospital.
06 June 2018
The local NHS has introduced a new service called ‘SWIFT’ as part of a wider investment in ‘out of hospital’ services across south east Essex by NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG. The new SWIFT service will see a team of nurses and care assistants support people in their own homes.
The service is aimed at people who might be having a flare up of
a long term condition or have an infection that isn't getting
better, which would usually result in a stay in hospital. This can
now be safely avoided with the additional support that the SWIFT
team can provide in people's homes.
The new community team will visit patients within two-hours of
receiving a referral from a GP practice, district nurse or
community long-term conditions team and the ambulance team (EEAST)
to stabilise their immediate health need.
Dr Amanda Pinkerton, local GP who has been involved in the
design of the new service said: "This isn't about not
admitting people that need to be in hospital but about supporting
GPs to keep people at home where appropriate and freeing up
hospital services for those that really need them."
Ryan Webb, Clinical Manager, EPUT who is part of the SWIFT team
"The new SWIFT team operates seven days a week - 8am
- 10pm. We have nurses and care assistants who can provide support
and care at short notice at times of crisis. We are able to
monitor patients in the community while providing the necessary
medication, interventions and care to help them feel better.
An experienced nurse will assess patient needs, develop a plan of
care in conjunction with existing services and put these into place
with the patient's consent."
Tricia D'Orsi, Chief Nurse, NHS Castle Point and Rochford and
NHS Southend CCG said:
"The SWIFT service is a great example of how nursing is a modern
and dynamic profession. The roles being fulfilled across south east
Essex are so varied and the skills so vast to deliver high quality
care and improve the patient experience."
Prior to the launch, the service had already been trialled in a
number of areas across south east Essex with really positive
Ryan Webb, Clinical Manager EPUT said: "One of the things GP
practices have told us they like about the service is the support
it offers to patients who may otherwise be admitted to hospital on
a Friday afternoon/evening. Where there may be concerns that
support is not available over the weekend, or GPs return on a
Monday morning to discover the patient has called an ambulance over
the weekend, the SWIFT team can now offer support to those patients
in their own home."
Jan, a local resident and member of Breathe Easy, Southend said:
"When you're at home you can rest more and recover quicker, there's
so much going on in a hospital. It's silly to be admitted to
a hospital bed if your care can be managed safely at home."
The service is part of a wider investment in 'out-of-hospital'
services. Other areas of investment include enhancement of
the existing District Nursing night service and broader investment
in planned and proactive care.
Lisa Ward, Lead Respiratory Nurse at Southend University
Hospital said "For a patient with a longstanding respiratory
condition the SWIFT team can mean the difference between being
hospitalised for an exacerbation of COPD or being treated early and
safely at home. I'm pleased to see the service launched after
being involved in the planning and looking forward to seeing the
benefits for our patients.
"The SWIFT team can see patients rapidly, assess them and
formulate a management plan, which can be enough to maintain that
patient comfortably at home with the support that they need.
It's reassuring for patients to get that early assessment, knowing
that the team will keep a close eye on them and escalate their care
to the hospital if that is what's needed."