Five-year community equipment service in Leicestershire and Rutland to enable early hospital discharge
Community equipment service (CES) provider Medequip has been awarded a five-year contract to provide an Integrated Community Equipment Loan Service (ICELS) for adults, children and young people in community, care and education settings across the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Starting in April 2022, the CES will align closely with the future development of health and social care services across the region. Loan equipment supplied by Medequip will facilitate independent living in the community, palliative care, rehabilitation and end of life care.
The service will provide vital support for carers, working with clinicians and other professionals to enable early discharge from hospitals alongside reductions in admissions and readmissions.
Medequip will also work to support a new model of care called ‘Home First’ being developed collectively by commissioning and provider organisations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR). The underlying principle of LLR Home First offer is to enable individuals to stay out of hospital and remain safe and well at their chosen place of residence, where they call home.
When hospital admissions are inevitable, the programme encourages appropriately planned discharges to enable individuals to return to their homes or community environment as soon as appropriate, with minimum risk of readmission.
Medequip will play a key role in facilitating faster discharges from hospital, sometimes within two hours, which may require the delivery and installation of more complex support equipment into the home environment. Admission avoidance is also an essential part of the service model, and the Medequip service will need to be agile to achieve the required changes in health and social care response times for rehabilitation, reablement and recovery as well as supporting vital End of Life pathways.
Under the terms of the contract and the Social Value Charter adopted by LLR, Medequip will also be required to deliver social value for the area. The aim is to make LLR a better place to live and work while further developing community confidence and pride.
“We are looking forward to working closely with our partners at LLR to deliver the new Home First care model,” stated James Ibbotson, CEO at Medequip. “We operate a responsive service capable of meeting the challenges of these changing requirements, providing an ICELS for LLR which matches the aspirations for those leading the drive for improvements in health and social care into the future.”
Julie Morley, ICELS Partnership Manager for LLR, is positive about the potential for the future.
“Our Home First concept is all about ensuring people get the right care, in the right place, whenever they need it,” she commented. “Working closely with Medequip, we are confident we can continue to deliver this safely, reliably and cost effectively.”
Medequip recently retained its Derby CES contract but with some significant changes within the framework designed to further improve responses to service users as well as maintaining the quality of the service.
Part of the framework changes includes introducing three levels of service delivery. Delivery Speed 1 means equipment will be delivered within four hours from the time of prescription. This will enable fast turnaround to support hospital discharges requiring urgent equipment deliveries. Delivery Speed 2 guarantees delivery within 24 hours and Delivery Speed 3 will enable equipment deliveries within three days.