Croydon selected as one of six national frontrunner sites for groundbreaking partnership work supporting people to return home from hospital
Croydon’s NHS and social care teams are to benefit from almost a million pounds worth of investment as one of six national pilots to free-up hospital beds by providing people with care in the community, following a Government announcement yesterday (Tuesday 11 January).
Croydon was awarded the £800k funding to build on the success of its ground-breaking work as the One Croydon Alliance, which involves the council, NHS teams, and the voluntary sector working together to provide residents with the best possible care.
The £800,000 integrated care funding will allow council and NHS teams to work even more closely together to improve the care and support available in the local community and triple the number of residents to regain their independence at home after a hospital stay.
The funding also aims to almost halve the amount of time that medically well people are spending in hospital awaiting discharge, allowing the NHS to prioritise in-demand beds for those who are most critically ill and injured.*
The move will help to free-up hospital beds so people can be admitted more quickly from A&E to wards, reducing pressure on the borough’s Emergency Department at Croydon University Hospital and speed-up ambulance handovers to help get paramedics back on the road to care for the critically ill.
Lee McPhail, Chief Operating Officer at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said:
“Our NHS and social care teams are under greater pressure than ever before, as we continue to see huge numbers of critically ill patients, requiring hospital care.
“The funding announced today will allow us to provide greater support to those patients ready to leave hospital and receive care elsewhere, but will also improve the flow of patients coming through our hospital doors, helping us to provide safe and high quality care to everyone who needs us; in the right place, at the right time.”
The initiative will expand Croydon’s existing ‘Living Independently for Everyone’ (LIFE) programme, which brings social workers, community geriatricians, nurses and therapists together across Croydon to help people regain their independence and confidence to live at home after a hospital stay.
Referrals to the successful service have doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 3,570 packages of care provided in 2021/22. Two out of three people were able to regain their independence with care provided at home after a hospital stay.
The NHS and council’s joint Integrated Discharge Team (which works to better coordinate patients care at home, in the community or in a social care residence and voluntary support groups to help people recover and stay well) will also benefit from the funding.
The investment will also boost the rollout of pioneering community networks within the borough that aim to help prevent ill health and keep people well. Known as Integrated Community Networks Plus (ICN+), these groups are bringing hospital teams together with local GPs, community clinicians, social care workers, mental health experts and the voluntary sector to provide more joined-up care and support within local neighbourhoods, close to where people live. More than 30% of Croydon residents reported an increase in their health and wellbeing from the first ICN+ piloted in the north of the borough, which has one of the widest gaps in health inequalities.
Jason Perry, Mayor of Croydon said:
“Our social workers already do some excellent work with our NHS partners in the reablement and LIFE teams, providing residents with the best possible care and support to help them return to independent living after a hospital stay.
“We will use this funding to build on that strong partnership work, supporting residents to live independently for as long as possible whilst also doing all we can to relieve pressure on the system and make sure that everyone can access urgent health care when they need it.”
Notes to editors
- *Aims of the schemes being funded include increasing the number of fully reabled residents from 24% to 75% and reducing the length of stay in hospital for a patient medically fit for discharge from 11 to 7 days.
- Funding will be utilised to expand existing services and develop a fully integrated team between acute and community, with a shared and secure IT system, leadership and oversight to improve the quality of client care and support seven days a week.
- The One Croydon alliance was formed in 2017 to give people greater control of their health and care and to breakdown barriers between professional groups to provided more joined-up services.
- Now more than two years old, the borough’s first Integrated Community Network Plus was piloted in one of the most deprived parts of Croydon. Of around 380 referrals received in 2021/22, 31% of Croydon residents reported experiencing an increase in their overall health and wellbeing.
- For more information please contact the communications team on 020 8401 39313 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org