The best community healthcare is delivered by well trained and well paid staff, who are well supported and who have the time to offer patient centred services, concluded an inquiry into community healthcare in Lewisham.
It is also holistic, taking into account many aspects of the patient’s life and health. Central to successful delivery is cooperation between services, the voluntary sector and the community.
An Appreciative Inquiry was held on Saturday 28th of June to look at what excellent care looks like.
Lewisham Hospital having been secured and now operating within the new Trust – the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign with Lewisham Healthwatch have been researching examples of excellent and good community care with the aim of supporting the best in and out of hospital care in the borough.
Over 100 stories had been gathered from users, clinicians and managers to find out from people’s personal experience what are the key features, the magic ingredients that make good community healthcare so valuable.
Four of those stories were used to kick start the day and with the imaginations of attendees they then shared their own stories and identified what had made them positive experiences.
“I have had a long and difficult journey from being a fit and vigorous man in middle age to being a wheelchair user. My GP’s medical support and emotional support have been fantastic.”
“Straight to the hospital,” “I could tell her anything.”
“Took the time to accept my worries.”
“Extraordinary skill, a few metres from my house.”
“It made me realise that it is not stigmatising to be depressed and it helped empower me to take control of my own life again.”
Life can never be taken for granted. Anyone can become sick or disabled and in need of care and support at any time. At these periods of crisis and stress, NHS services become a vital part of managing, if not of survival. Aside from hospital provision, this includes district nurses, community palliative care, pharmacists, GPs and many, many other services.
Organiser Carolyn Emanuel said :
‘At a time when politicians are looking at ways to join up hospital and community care the findings from this event will form a significant way of highlighting the best standards of practice, which we hope will be included in any future models of delivery.’
“I have severe learning difficulties and autism. All the staff at the surgery are brilliant. We always get an appointment on demand. They’re completely tolerant of challenging behaviour and don’t keep us hanging around.
“Kindness, non-judgmental approach.” Looking at the positives, highlight the strengths”
“Different parts of the NHS talked with each other. Joined-up care.
Everyone was briefed.”
“Very happy with carer. Was a bit shy at first but got to know her.”
“I am much calmer in the knowledge that I am seeing the same practitioner who knows me personally and reviews my epilepsy more regularly.”
“This helped me to stay in my managerial and caring role without losing time or money. I come from so far I would have had to take a whole day out just for a doctor’s appointment.”
Common to all the stories was staff having the time to deliver excellent care. That time enabled them to listen to and understand the patient and their needs, create a smooth pathway between services and empower the patient to manage their own health.
The gathering then identified a series of practical actions to make these recommendations a reality –
- a public education programme to help people understand and get involved with the design of local health strategy and policy;
- identifying ways to make sure NHS staff are involved in all decisions about the delivery of community healthcare; and
- making sure the voluntary sector is represented in the right places to promote a joined up health and social care strategy.
- A challenge to the NHS on the Private Finance Initiative, a mortgage on NHS property which is draining our NHS of cash which goes to private corporations.
- Harnessing new media to improve health, specifically for young people, but extended to anyone.
Miriam Long, manager of Healthwatch Lewisham, said:
“This was a great way to end the evidence gathering stage of the inquiry. It was a vibrant event with some great outcomes.”
“The next stage is to write the report and a plan of action that will be discussed with commissioners. The involvement of so many people has meant we’ll be able to tell them a compelling story.”
The plan of action will be discussed at the next Healthwatch Lewisham Reference Group meeting. It will take place from 10.30am to 2pm on Tuesday 29 July in the Council Chambers, Civic Suite, Catford. All welcome book your place here.
In preparation. We would like anyone who has had a good experience of community healthcare in Lewisham to tell us about it. In preparation, we would welcome more submissions of your positive stories. Please write in to the Save Lewisham Hospital website at http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/community-care-survey/ or call Healthwatch Lewisham on 020 7998 7796.
Community Engagement Officer
Voluntary Action Lewisham
St. Laurence Community Centre
31 – 37 Bromley Road
Catford, London SE6 2TS
The NHS has six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in south east London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark). They are working together with commissioning leads from NHS England – London, and in close partnership with local authorities, hospitals, community health services, mental health services, patients, carers and local people on a five year strategy to improve health services across south east London. We are inviting people who live or work in south east London to apply to join our patient and public voices, who are at the centre of shaping and informing this clinically-driven strategy for local health services with us.
There are opportunities to join one of the groups working on planned health care, maternity services, children and young people, long term conditions – physical and mental health, primary and community care, cancer, and urgent and emergency care. Or to work with one of our strategic (planning) groups – Partnership Group, Clinical Executive Group or Clinical Commissioning Board – providing overall governance and direction for the local health strategy. All these groups meet regularly at central London venues and usually during daytime working hours.
We are particularly keen to hear from people who can bring the perspective from south east London’s communities whose voices are seldom heard in healthcare planning, and people who can contribute our strong commitment to equalities and diversity.
If you are interested in knowing more about any of these roles, please contact Laura Luckhurst on 0203 049 9916 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for completed applications is 5 pm on Friday 27th June 2014.
summary of discussions – SLaM service user and carer advisory groups for mood, anxiety & personality disorder services, and emergency access, complex care and clinical neurosciencesPosted: April 2, 2014
Hello all, The departments that manage the services at South London & Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust have ‘advisory groups’ where service users and carers come together to advise on and discuss developments. 2 of these groups produce a brief summary of their discussions. The purpose is to let interested people know what is being discussed. I have attached the summaries from the March meetings.
Please circulate as appropriate.
With best wishes,
Alice Glover Patient & Public Involvement Lead – Mood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG email: email@example.com tel: 020 3228 0959 113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ
summary of discussions – SLaM service user and carer advisory groups for mood, anxiety & personality disorder services, and emergency access, complex care and clinical neurosciencesPosted: March 10, 2014
The departments that manage the services at South London & Maudsely NHS Foundation Trust have ‘advisory groups’ where service users and carers come together to advise on and discuss developments. 2 of these groups produce a brief summary of their discussions. The purpose is to let interested people know what is being discussed. Please circulate as appropriate.
With best wishes,
Patient & Public Involvement Lead – Mood Anxiety & Personality CAG and Psychological Medicine CAG
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 020 3228 0959
113 Denmark Hill |The Maudsley Hospital | Denmark Hill | London | SE5 8AZ