On 21 January, PICS Board members Dr Kelvin Lim and Gerald Ellis shared the impact and success of the award-winning Acute Home Visiting Service at the virtual meeting of the Notts Integrated Care System (ICS) Board.

The ICS Board meeting is led by Sir David Pearson, Chair of the ICS Board and lead for the Government’s Social Care Taskforce. Over 20 chief executives, politicians and other leaders of social, care and health bodies from across Nottinghamshire gather every month, and they start by hearing from a guest-speaker who shares a real-life experience of a patient benefiting from a service that’s integrated within the system.

PICS was invited to showcase our service which recently received national recognition for innovation and value from the prestigious Health Services Journal Awards. We focused on demonstrating the impact of the AVHS service for patients and explaining how we collaborated with GPs to create the service.

Mr and Mrs Venn

With their kind permission, Kelvin and Gerald showcased the experience of Mr and Mrs Venn from Newark who called their GP when Mr Venn became very ill one morning. Darren from the AVS team came to their home within an hour of the referral, assessed his condition, prescribed medicine, and Mr Venn was feeling better soon afterwards.

Sir David Pearson

Sir David Pearson, Chair of the ICS Board, said:

“We study and learn from examples of how collaboration and innovation improve the quality of services for patients, and how integrated ways of working contributes to better health and wellbeing across the entire population.

“The Acute Home Visiting Services is a fantastic piece of work and has been rightly recognised. It strikes me, that in a world where there are many ups and downs and challenges, it’s very important that we as a system take the opportunity to celebrate such things and congratulate those people who’ve put heart and soul into making these things work. They all generally involve people who are willing to go the extra mile, who are harnessed by good leadership and supported by good system working, which are probably three essential ingredients.”

Dr T. Bartholomeuz

Dr Thilan Bartholomeuz, GP and Clinical Lead for Mid-Notts Integrated Care Partnership commented:

“I just want to recognise this excellent service. It is sometimes difficult to quantify the savings, or predict how many hospital admissions were avoided, or fully understand how it offers patients a better quality of service. But I can share what I’ve seen as a local GP. The AVHS service covers large areas, so when clinicians are deployed to one patient, they can see other patients nearby with much more efficiency. That means you don’t have four different GPs from neighbouring practices visiting the same nursing home at the same time. This is not only efficient use of resources but enables GPs to see more patients in their surgeries.

“An important quality aspect for my patients is that they are seen and treated earlier in the day, so their condition doesn’t worsen as they wait. And if they do need to go onto hospital, being seen earlier in the day often means they can get assessed and treated before bed time and don’t have to stay overnight.

“We need this way of innovative thinking and working differently to serve the population, and if you ask any Mid-Notts GP like me, we would not want to do without the service.”

Dr Kelvin Lim

Dr Kelvin Lim, PICS’ Medical Director, said at  the close of the session:

“The GPs have liked the service, but more importantly, the patients have felt supported especially during this pandemic. I want to pay tribute to the team that have worked on this and who have continued to see patients in their homes throughout the pandemic and lockdowns. I hope this recognition from the ICS Board offers them a boost and helps show how much we appreciate their care.”

You can watch our short video which explains what the service does, how it helped Mr and Mrs Venn, and includes some statistics and facts about the benefits to patients and the wider health and social care system herehttps://youtu.be/OzC0CqAynyk

To learn more, please contact Gerald Ellis, Programme Manager at PICS on gerald.ellis@nhs.net.