Older woman with carer image

Fosse Healthcare, which works with both public and private care sectors to provide high-quality homecare, care home and healthcare services, has launched an early deterioration digital pilot scheme.

This “breakthrough” digital pilot was launched in coordination with Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Birdie, with support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network and Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub.

In the pilot, technology, developed by Birdie, is used to support care providers across health and social care to spot the signs that someone’s health may be deteriorating and ensure they are getting the healthcare they need to prevent a crisis situation.

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After digitising its services during the pandemic to keep staff and clients safe, Fosse Healthcare Managing Director Volt Sacco reached out to key industry organisations with a proposal for a new pilot scheme.

The scheme was designed to demonstrate how technology could be used to strengthen other aspects of the care industry, specifically the communication between adult social home care and healthcare.

The significance of the pilot was recognised by NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, which then joined with Fosse Healthcare to form the ‘Early Deterioration in Home Care Project’.

Volt explained: “Fosse and the CCG both wanted to understand the implications of developing a system which could be adopted throughout the industry, and used to connect care providers with GPs, emergency services and the NHS to proactively identify and treat ‘soft signs’ of deterioration before they become a larger medical concern.

“We believe that with the right tools and technology we can address potential health risks in the early stages, which we project would have a huge impact on the costs and pressure currently being experienced within the Health & Social Care System.

“Already, despite the pilot still being in its infancy, the benefits of this new process are apparent, and feedback from participating clients and care staff has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The main objective of the Early Deterioration in Home Care Project is to bridge the gap between homecare and primary care professionals to help them make earlier, robust decisions.

To achieve this, the Early Deterioration in Home Care Project team – consisting of a number of key industry stakeholders – has developed a thorough workflow process, Fosse Healthcare says.

At the heart of this process, detailed observations are made by trained Fosse care staff – including blood pressure and respiration rate, for example – which are shared digitally with the care recipient’s GP to decide what clinical or care support they may require.

Dr Malte Gerhold, Chief Integrated Care Officer at Birdie, added: “This project is a powerful example for how digital care technology can enable new ways of collaboration between social and health care professionals, and improve the lives of older people in Newark.

“We believe that home care has immense potential to support the NHS to provide better quality care at home and in the community, and we are excited to be part of this collaboration.”

The pilot scheme was officially launched within the Newark branch of Fosse Healthcare on 10th March and affects approximately 150 consenting care recipients.

The pilot will run for up to six months in total to give the academic partners enough time to undertake their evaluations.

Melanie Brooks, Corporate Director for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, concluded: “It is exciting to hear how technology can support our care providers to spot the signs that someone’s health may be deteriorating and ensure they are getting the healthcare they need to prevent a crisis situation.

“By identifying these situations at the earliest possible stage, we are ensuring that people can continue to live as independently as possible and receive the right level of care, in the right place, at the right time. We look forward to seeing how this project progresses.”

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