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The Use of Analytics: Exploring Ways to Enhance CHC Performance

Sebastian Stewart, Growth Director, CHS Healthcare

On 8th April, we held the fourth installation in our CHC webinar series, ‘The use of analytics: exploring ways to enhance CHC performance’. I was joined by Raj Bhatt, Head of Analytics (NHS continuing Healthcare) and Paul Kaye, Director – QuiqSolutions who provide the CHAT assurance tool and AIMS quarterly performance data.

We heard about the huge amount of work going on to prepare CHC data collection and systems for the move from CCGs to ICS. This is creating opportunity to improve how we collect data, what we report on and how that supports improvement for CHC.

You can watch the webinar here The use of analytics: exploring ways to enhance CHC performance | CHS Healthcare but my key takeaways from the discussion are:

Fragmentation of processes and systems will be a challenge. Raj and his team at NHS England are keen to help CCGs where they have issues with pulling together systems and data for the transition to ICS structures.

Mechanism for submitting data: NHS England are working with NHS Digital to make sure there are improvements to how data is provided on the MESH platform, reducing the process to 2 or 3 clicks from uploading, QAing and submitting rather than the current 5-7 clicks.

Reducing the burden of data collection: Raj is keen to hear from CHC data teams about possible improvements for the patient level data set and collection. There is support for utilising existing data sources wherever relevant – with the governance and quality of data being pulled in paramount.

Move from aggregate to patient level data: Aggregate collection has been used to support visibility of compliance against national standards. The limitation of aggregate data is that it doesn’t speak as effectively to patient experience.

While the initial focus for this patient level data, will be on reconciliations, in time patient level data will allow the development of KPIs for topical areas e.g. health inequalities, waiting times, and cost.

Data as a tool for comparison in the move to ICS:  Now data is captured, processed, and reported at CCG level. This is compared amongst peers through clustering indicating unwanted variation and prompting further investigation. As we move to ICBs the level of assurance will take place at sub-ICB location (CCG level) creating consistency with existing methodology.

New CQC inspection methodology places significant emphasis on capturing the experience of people who use services to support understanding of quality. There are many ways to do this including phone surveys and paper surveys. Paul also discussed a number of ‘off the shelf’ solutions.

As Raj stated the key challenges of reporting data will be during the transition to ICSs and the impact it will have on CHC performance. “From a challenge perspective I think it is an obvious statement to say it is going to be a journey for all colleagues to improve data quality and improve a level of reconciliation when we’re comparing both the aggregate and patient level data sets. But data quality is at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve”.

To learn more about CHS Healthcare and our data management systems which support CHC performance, please contact umer.shariff@chshealthcare.co.uk or sebastian.stewart@chshealthcare.co.uk

Reflection on ‘Continuing Healthcare within Integrated Care Systems’

Seb Stewart, Commercial Director, CHS Healthcare

On 5 November, we held the second installation in our monthly CHC webinar series, ‘Continuing Healthcare within Integrated Care Systems’, I was pleased to be joined by both Stephen Chandler (Director for Adult Social Care, Oxfordshire County Council) and Paul Allerston (Partner and Solicitor Advocate, Hill Dickinson’s Manchester Health Advisory).

It was good to have over 170 people working in CHC across the NHS and local authorities join the interactive discussion.

Following are some of my observations and reflections on the discussion – you can watch the full webinar here: http://chshealthcare.co.uk/webinars/continuing-healthcare-within-integrated-care-systems/

And if you’d like to get in touch to discuss any of the issues and topics we covered please drop me a line: seb.stewart@chahealthcare.co.uk

What are the burning issues facing CHC teams?

Having a strong management and CHC delivery in place has always been a priority for organisations. But with plans to put ICSs onto statutory footing by April 2022, it’s critical that organisations are preparing for the shift now and feel comfortable by the time ICSs come into play.

Key findings from our pre-webinar survey showed:

  • 49% of registrants identified ‘workforce capacity’ as the most pressing challenge facing their organisation as it moves to ICS.
  • 76% said that ‘additional workforce capacity for reviews and assessments’ should be the main priority and would help them and their team in the shift to ICSs.

What does this look like in practical terms? ICSs provide an opportunity to look across social care and the NHS workforce. It was interesting to hear how Oxfordshire and Berkshire ICS are looking at importance of both nurse recruitment and retention. They see the move to ICSs as a means to ensuring that the expertise that exists within CHC teams are not lost but rather they are enhanced, and that the roles of those professionals and teams is recognised and valued.

Inter-agency collaboration a vehicle to reduce disputes

Another pressing issue is how inter-agency collaboration might work in the world of CHC as ICSs become fully functional.

  • 81% of people who answered our survey said that ‘advice and support on integrating systems and databases’ would support them and their team in the shift to the ICS
  • 41% saying that ‘compatibility of existing databases and systems’ would be the biggest challenge for CHC moving forward.

Beyond the practical issues of integration inter-agency collaboration should be strengthened by the ICS model which will provide systems, boards and committees with the opportunity to regularly review and address difficult issues together – the system wide approach giving additional clarity.

In practical terms complex cases where eligibility is considered over time, stand to be handled and improved through the collaboration between the ICS and placed based partners ultimately reducing disputes.

As the focus on ICSs intensifies there has been a lot of talk about leadership. We discussed the expectation on new ICS leaders to bring the NHS and local government together to create a permissive working relationship and how that has to be fueled by relentless collaboration and positivity.

Preparing for implementation

51% of people in our survey identified workforce skills as the second most pressing challenge for CHC in the shift towards ICSs.

The key take out from our panel was that continual workforce education is critical. This means policy reviews such as LPS, as well as strategic level policy and case-law guidance are embedded in ongoing work supporting consistency as well as building confidence in those people working in CHC. ICSs also provide an excellent platform for the centralised commissioning of training.

Budget setting

We know how important an issue CHC budgets are for many ICSs as they set up. The structure and scale of ICSs can provide opportunity for better budget setting and management. Detailed analysis of current level of need, current level of earned expenditure and ensuring an optimal usage of population health predicters will support robust budget setting.

Another key point about the move to ICSs is that CHC budgets can’t be considered in isolation and but must be seen in context of other budgets that support both older people and those with complex physical health needs. The scale of the ICS model can enable visibility of other initiatives and spending related to older people and care which – alongside CHC – improves the experience of patients and the people looking after them.

Next up in our series of webinars is a discussion about personal healthcare budgets – invites will be going out shortly and we look forward to you joining us.

CHS Healthcare has been supporting CCGs with Continuing Healthcare nationally since 2013 and are well-placed to support CCGs and local authorities to tackle their current and ongoing priorities. For more information, contact enquiries@chshealthcare.co.uk to discuss your needs.

You can access a recording of the webinar here: http://chshealthcare.co.uk/webinars/continuing-healthcare-within-integrated-care-systems/

The most challenging of winters 

Seb Stewart
Commercial Director, CHS Healthcare

Care Quality Commission State of Care report 2021 described this winter as ‘the most challenging of winters’. The health and social care ecosystem is running red hot and faces an array of challenges: a record number of patients waiting for elective surgery; a workforce crisis in the NHS itself; and around 100,000 unvaccinated care home staff who will soon have to leave their roles for this reason – adding even more pressure to an understaffed sector. Last week a letter from NHS England’s medical director, director for emergency and elective care, and its regional directors asked all local chief executives and chairs to take immediate action to stop all delays in ambulance handovers. Images of ambulances queuing outside hospital being amongst the most inflammatory depictions of winter pressures for the public.

Treasury funding for community care initiated at the start of the pandemic has made a significant difference to patient flow out of hospitals to this point. It’s true the backdoor may not have the striking imagery of queuing ambulances but of course the backdoor is the key to the front door.

We’re now in a period where Treasury funding now applies to 28 days of care for new or additional needs of an individual on discharge from hospital. This means health and care staff handling these D2A pathways will be required to ensure checklists, assessments and health and care reviews can all take place in a timely fashion. This will allow people to move through these beds into long term care fit for their individual needs releasing capacity for others.

To ensure these necessary assessments and reviews can happen within this funded period, processes must be followed meticulously and teams across health, care as well as providers must be working symbiotically. 28 days leaves little wriggle room and each day counts.

In State of Care the CQC noted that 45% of people with a disability and 20% of people with a long-term condition said their support needs were not being met following their discharge. And Carers UK reported in ‘Carers experience of hospital discharge’ (September 2021) that the majority (56%) of carers are not involved in discharge decisions.

As well as ensuring capacity, skills and know-how are plentiful in hospital discharge teams, it’s important to remember that patient experience of care as well as that of their friends, family and carers has never been more important. This is true both for long term recovery and quality of life but also to avoid unplanned re-admissions which place unnecessary pressure on an already overwhelmed system.

Chris Ham wrote in the BMJ recently that: ‘The NHS is falling over. Not everywhere, but in some places and in some services the signs of extreme stress are manifest. These signs are the result of the irresistible force of rising demand for care meeting the immovable object of constrained capacity.’

Much has been written about NHS funding following the budget last week. The Resolution Foundation noting that a staggering £84 billion of the £111 billion a year increase in day-to-day Whitehall-controlled departmental spending since 2009-10 will go to the Department of Health and Social Care by 2024-25. With more people living longer and new medicines and therapies available some of this is predictable but a reasoned public debate about the future of the NHS may feel some way off. Therefore we must innovate within the system as it exists today so that capacity is not constrained permanently. For example looking at innovative strategies to how we manage discharge services contracting with providers so they can complete checklists and creating recharge arrangements between LAs and CCGs releasing more flexibility in processes.

The big issues need consideration and contribution from all areas of health and care but for the foreseeable future we will be focussed on working with teams across England helping them to create and maintain patient flow. We do this through dedicated patient flow and discharge support, bolstering capacity. We have unparalleled knowledge of local care provision and identify, secure and manage community beds, timely assessments and end-to-end case management. We are proud to be known for our exemplary support of patients and their families helping them to make decisions about care in a way that supports their needs. All of this helps to make sure that the time people spend in hospital and in the D2A pathway is as short as possible and focussed on their rehabilitation and long-term care.

We also work in the community providing scalable reablement and rehabilitation community care to help patients to get home quickly and receive the care they need at home so they can continue their rehabilitation journey and avoid readmission.
The coming months look daunting.  Our focus will be to support health and care colleagues with our skills, capacity, and know-how and to make sure patients and their families have the care and support in the right place at the right time.

Reflection on “Driving quality, safety and efficiency with data in Continuing Healthcare”

Harry Bourton, National CHC Operations Manager, CHS Healthcare

On 24 September, we held the first installation of our seven-part, monthly webinar series ‘Driving quality, safety and efficiency with data in Continuing Healthcare’.

We were joined alongside by Hayley Tingle (Chief Finance Officer at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group and Acting Chief Finance Officer at NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group) and Andrew Whittingham (Associate Director of Finance, NHS Cheshire CCG); as we discussed the most pressing finance and data related issues facing CCGs today.

Consistency of data across CCGS:

We all know that data and finance play a crucial role in terms of CHC delivery for our caseloads across CCGs and across the country. But we need to be asking the challenging questions of whether we are making the most of it, can we do more with data and CHC budgets and importantly how can we use data and finance to drive quality, patient safety and efficiency with Continuing Healthcare.

As CCGs shift into becoming an ICS, there are many concerns regarding the coming together of multiple systems and processes.

“One of the main issues we’ve found is having data that is comparable or being coded and processed in the same way”, said Andrew.

“In just bringing four CCGs together we’ve found that organisations have all adopted a variety of methodologies and that processes and calculations were all very different. One of the real big challenges has been trying to make sure we all work together and conduct processes in a clear and concise way.

Because CCGs manage their processes in a very specific way, that when new processes are rolled into a new CCG it suddenly creates a very large overspend because they have historically not counted for things like overdue reviews, people on waiting lists or year on year increases in CHC. It ultimately comes down to getting the right amount of consistency to drive forward successful processes and make the financial aspects of CHC work together.”

Risk share arrangements

Looking ahead to April next year and the risk share arrangements made in advance of an ICS, Hayley noted that:

In South Yorkshire, they have yet to go through a merger and still exist as very separate CCGs even with the overarching ICS. Those risk sharing arrangements have not yet been considered as all the energy and resources is focusing on essentially closing down CCGs and looking at the due diligence of setting up a new statutory body which will be the ICB.

As we approach April 2022, Hayley does not think there will be the time to look at risk share arrangements considering that the delegation and operating model have yet to be communicated.

Hayley cannot see CCGs in South Yorkshire beginning the process of risk sharing arrangements within the next six months as focus will be on transitioning to the new organisation but does see risk share arrangements as a key to the new world beginning in April.

Risk and liabilities as CCGs merge into the ICS

When thinking about the formulation on an ICS within CHC specifically, it’s important to consider whether there are any risks or liabilities for those CCGs who may still have a backlog of CHC assessments or reviews when they enter an ICS in April of next year?

Covid-19 in general has put CCGs in a position where they may have been up to date with reviews and assessments but have unfortunately experienced a major setback in this regard due to the surmounting pressure on staff.

Relating to his own experience in Cheshire, Andrew notes the effects of Covid-19 and the difficulty it has led to in hospital discharge with nurses being pulled in every direction and unable to focus on conducting reviews and assessments.

With pressure on workloads hitting unforeseen highs, this has in turn built up a backlog to where organisations may not be able to clear it up prior to ICS integration. The inability to catch up will impact budgets going forward and if an organisation hasn’t assessed or reviewed a patient, they are ultimately deflating current CHC expenditure.

This will in turn lead into the following year when organisations will undoubtably be hit by the cost. Which is why it’s critical that we create a provision around this, as organisations will eventually feel the brunt of it when they finally catch up on reviews and assessments.

QIPP – how can data support targets?

With a number of financial risks to be considered and potential regulations around implementation, it’s also important to ask if data is being effectively leveraged for QIPP targets and how data can be used to help meet those targets?

Andrew notes how in Cheshire that they’ve been quite reliant on systems such as BroadCare and the data they pull from various reports to create a strong baseline of information. His team have already completed the QIPP work around ensuring processes are robust and follow the set framework, but when it comes to finances, they rely heavily on data to provide a baseline and use that to measure future performance.

It’s essential that stored information on patient systems is up to date and relevant. And the best way to achieve this process is through the proper staff training for sometimes complex and detailed systems like BroadCare.

Has QIPP had its day?

Another more general question to consider when discussing QIPP targets is whether they

have a place in CHC?

Hayley quite strongly noted that we should absolutely be putting QIPP targets in and we should do so continually, even if we think we’ve exhausted it every year, it’s critical that we continue to push and push.

“We are custodians of taxpayers money, and we’ve got make sure we get full value on that”, said Hayley.

How well can data predict the future?

The shift to ICS also creates an opportunity to improve data quality and lead to the question as to whether we use data enough to deliver CHC and forecast for future spikes in activity?

Many CCGs rely heavily on reports from their respective databases which in turn helps manage the sheer volume of patients and forecast those, as well as accrue for the costs we have yet incurred.

In Cheshire, Andrew notes that they use the funded care report to look and benchmark their CCG against other local and paired CCGs to help spot trends and activity. The data points and eligibility rates from a report such as that help feed the future forecasting to help organisations better understand where CHC may go in that particular year.

“By analysing the trend data and forecasting, we can then build in a percentage increase that might be either patient or price related so that we’re prepared throughout the year and understand our financial liability”, said Andrew.

To learn more about the financial and data risks within CHC and how to manage them, please contact Harry Bourton at Harry.Bourton@chshealthcare.co.uk to find out more.

CHS Healthcare has been supporting CCGs with Continuing Healthcare nationally since 2013 and are well-placed to support CCGs and local authorities to tackle their current and ongoing priorities. For more information, contact enquiries@chshealthcare.co.uk to discuss your needs.

You can access a recording of the webinar here: http://chshealthcare.co.uk/webinars/driving-quality-safety-and-efficiency-with-data-in-continuing-healthcare/

Continuing Healthcare Webinar Series: ‘From recovery to integration: Developing the future of Continuing Healthcare’

The impact on Continuing Healthcare from Covid-19 was immediate and significant, as the implementation of new community pathways has changed how teams work, as has interim funding. 

We’re now seeing a significant backlog of patients waiting for elective surgery currently 5.6 million patients, with 293,102 waiting for more than a year (as of July 2021). This pressure impacts Continuing Healthcare by stretching scarce resources – staff and nursing beds in the community.

As we look ahead the introduction of integrated care systems provide opportunity for improvement in the delivery of Continuing Healthcare. Commissioning at the scale of an ICS could:

  • Reduce variation through improved training 
  • Allow scope to support new specialist roles
  • Give momentum for updated back-office function utilising tech and analysis
  • Support leads to work at a more strategic level 

At the centre of this is supporting patients and their families as they navigate a complex system at a time of real stress and worry. 

Since the start of the pandemic, we have run several webinars bringing together NHS teams and experts. These have been informal sessions sharing insight and experience. We know that there are many questions about the future of Continuing Healthcare so we have designed a series of webinars over the autumn and winter which will consider these.

The first in this series, Driving quality, safety and efficiency with data in Continuing Healthcare will take place 24 September.

While data is regularly used for tracking CHC costs and managing CHC budgets, we’ll look at how it can be used to identify efficiencies, support QIPP targets and help ensure patients receive safe and appropriate care. 

Facilitated by Harry Bourton, National CHC Operations Manager at CHS Healthcare, he’ll be joined by:

  • Hayley Tingle, Chief Finance Officer at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group and Acting Chief Finance Officer at NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Andrew Whittingham, Associate Director of Finance, NHS Cheshire CCG

The panel will address the following questions:

  • Does the move to ICS create an opportunity to improve data quality?
  • Can we develop targets around patient safety which are specifically data related?
  • Is data being effectively leveraged for QIPP targets?
  • What are the financial risks in a number of CCGs coming together as a single ICS?
  • Are there any risks in terms of contingent liabilities for those CCGs declaring backlogs in CHC assessments and reviews?

Following that upcoming sessions will include:

  • October – Continuing Healthcare within Integrated Care Systems
  • November – Developing skills and capacity within the Continuing Healthcare workforce
  • December – Driving the effective management of personal health budgets in Continuing Healthcare
  • January – Digital platforms and best practice for reviews and assessments 
  • February – From DoLS to Liberty protection safeguards – implications for Continuing Healthcare 
  • March – Update on reviews and assessments case law and PHSO report 

To join the first of the webinar series on 24 September, visit the link here. We will update this page with more detail on the programme, speakers and invite links as they are confirmed. 

For more information on the series or individual webinars, please contact Ben Hackwell at ben.hackwell@chshealthcare.co.uk to find out more.

Reflection on ‘Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care’

The new funding announcement by the Prime Minister is very welcome and investment in the health and social care system is badly needed. It has been a difficult time for patients: five million are waiting for treatment and the pressures on social care are intense. Although health and care chiefs have said the £12 billion a year package is still not enough money to solve the problems, this cash injection does present an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of patients and people in receipt of care.

 

Right now, all those in the health and care sector need to be truly patient-focused and work collaboratively to achieve the prime minister’s stated ambition to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’. The opportunity is in the hands of the new Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) which were set up to provide patient centered health and care, bringing together organisations to work together across larger geographies. This collective includes the private and third sector whose solutions can help ICSs achieve the goal of better outcomes for patients. 

 

CHS works closely with the acute sector to provide services to help patients with efficient and timely discharge from hospital and supports colleagues in CCGs and local authorities to organise the provision of care packages, providing governance and visibility in this process with our technical innovations. 

 

But the NHS and social care will really have to start working differently and practical things like procurement need to be resolved quickly. As organisations come together, we are seeing contract sizes for these larger populations get much bigger – often tenfold – which means that commissioning services will become more complicated. 

 

The promised investment is an important step forward for health and social care and will breathe momentum into fixing the problems that the Prime Minister promised on the steps of Downing Street in 2019.  

Interim care funding: what next after September 30?

Uko Umotong

National Discharge and Community Services Manager

  • £594 million in funding from April to September 2021 provided for hospital discharge
  • Six weeks funding has been reduced to 4 weeks for those discharged up to September 30

For those working across the healthcare system in England, many will be aware that back in March, the government committed to supporting hospital discharge by providing £594 million in funding from April to September 2021.

This commitment was made to maintain flow across hospitals enabling patients to leave the hospital as quickly and as safely as possible by removing some of the traditional barriers such as funding allocation and choice delays.

National discharge funded care package & patient backlog

The £594 million in allocated funding was broken down into two duration periods to deliver post-discharge recovery as well as support services and rehabilitation.

  • Between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021: people discharged would receive up to six weeks of funded care
  • Between July 1 – September 30: eligibility for funded care following discharge was reduced from six to four weeks
  • With the reduction in the period for funded care for those discharged from July 1onwards, it’s essential that patients receive the necessary assessments and planning within the four weeks, meaning D2A processes must be efficient and effective
  • The picture for funding after September 30 is unsure. Without any additional funding agreed all funding will return to core system budgets. Stakeholders including NHS Providers are making the case for why the funding must be maintained as a key driver of patient flow.

Why is this all so important? This wind down in funding is happening against a backdrop of the elective surgery waiting list reaching 5.3 million, with 336,000 waiting for more than 52 weeks with fears it could reach 7 million by the end of the year. This sits alongside an ongoing threat from Covid with seven trusts having over 10% of their occupied adult general and acute beds taken up by Covid patients on the 3rd of August. The additional funding provided by the government throughout the pandemic has been seen as an enabler for improved discharge out of the hospital because it removed systemic issues which have slowed flow down in the past.

So, what for the future? 

The move back to core budgets has the potential to stifle patient flow at a time when it is critical it’s maintained. We all remember the challenges of DTOC and super-stranded patients. But we also know from before the pandemic that patient flow can be realised through a dedicated and methodical focus on processes as well as intense engagement with patients and families.

We work with NHS organisations across the country and have over 20 years of experience focussed on hospital discharge. We know how hard NHS teams work and how challenging the last 18 months have been. With increased demands and increased complexity, the expectations on NHS teams have never been higher.

We can bring dedicated and focussed support:

  • Securing the right D2A capacity on behalf of commissioners and managing this capacity so that the right beds are available at the right time
  • Supporting patients out of the hospital, e.g., arranging TTOs
  • Working with providers and the NHS to make sure assessments and rehabilitation for individuals happen as soon as they can, following up when they don’t occur and preparing patients for long term care
  • Supporting families to help them make decisions. This includes being available after hours and at weekends to talk through options and discuss what is best for their loved ones

We have a singular focus – making patient flow work. We are experts in family liaison and have an unparalleled understanding of local care provision. We understand the NHS, and We work on an ongoing basis or for a dedicated period.

With undoubtedly another difficult autumn ahead for the NHS we must apply the know-how gained before and during the pandemic to avoid issues like delayed discharge or stranded patients, which would lead to even further months on waiting lists for those in need of elective care.

Continuing Healthcare: Getting it right first time Key takeaways from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) released its report, Continuing Healthcare: Getting it right first time, in November 2020. The report is the culmination of the PHSO’s review of complaints concerning NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) between April 2018 and July 2020. 

CHC cases are reviewed by the PHSO when they are not otherwise resolved by NHSE. The PHSO’s findings are shared publicly, with the goal of holding organisations to account and offering opportunities to learn from past mistakes. In this report, failings were identified on the part of CCGs both in the planning of care and support as well as in reviews of previously unassessed periods of care. On the former, failings in care and support planning paired with poor communication resulted in families bearing additional costs for care. On the latter, failings in reviewing previously unassessed periods of care resulted in families facing long periods of uncertainty about finances, as well as financial and reputational risk for CCGs. Getting these reviews right and ensuring past mistakes are not repeated is critical.

Having identified these failings, the PHSO made a series of recommendations, including:

  • Supporting the skills of NHS CHC practitioners, to ensure that staff have the skills and experience necessary to undertake CHC assessments
  • Sharing learning nationally, through a review of the current CHC learning opportunities and tools, and delivering additional educational opportunities for the workforce
  • Supporting people and providers through the NHS CHC process, by ensuring that everyone involved is aware of funding arrangements and additional service requirements
  • Developing national guidance for reviewing previously unassessed periods of care to clarify CCG’s obligations
  • Ensuring that CCGs have the capacity to meet these obligations

The report and its findings arrive during an incredibly complex time for the NHS and CHC alike. As a result of COVID-19, the Government announced a pause on CHC reviews and assessments between March and August 2020 and implemented interim funding for hospital discharge and care placements. Throughout the pandemic, organisations across the country have been adopting various approaches but in the midst of another lockdown and ongoing pressures on the system, ensuring that review and assessment processes are being undertaken efficiently and effectively is critical – both for current cases as well as those previously deferred. 

The key to achieving this will lie in effectively implementing the PHSO’s recommended measures; ultimately it is about ensuring the specialist skills and the capacity to manage this process are in place and clear communication is maintained throughout. CHS Healthcare is uniquely placed to support this process, having provided clinical support, advice, and consultancy in CHC to over 100 CCGs, and holding the largest CHC footprint in England, with services across all 7 regions.

You can read the PHSO’s report here

New PM Boris calls for a focus on social care

by Dr Gabrielle Silver

It’s been a busy period in Westminster with our new PM setting out his focus for the coming months.  It was encouraging to hear social care high on his agenda recognising that action is needed urgently.  We’re excited to work together with policy makers and other providers across the public and private sector to support this challenge.  One of the issues that sits at the centre of this, and is something that can be improved without delay, is family liaison – making sure families have the information they need to be able to make decisions to help people into the right care as quickly as possible.

Over the last 20 years we’ve seen the difference this can make to families and services in being able to move out of hospital as soon as they are medically fit.  Empowering people at this point – which can be a very anxious time –  gives confidence and reassurance.  Effective family liaison also means better quality referrals for care homes helping them to come back quickly on decisions about availability supporting the discharge process.  Last year East Riding of Yorkshire Council undertook an independent evaluation of our coordination of hospital discharge and the results showed how much care homes valued our dedicated family liaison service.

Our approach to family liaison is built around dedicated engagement with hospital and local authority teams alongside support for families including  after hours and on the weekend, getting to know the person who is being placed in care so we can understand which local homes will be best for them as well as showing families around care homes so they can decide what is best for their loved one. Getting family liaison right is what motivates our teams every day because they can see the impact it has on finding the right home for each individual and helping them out of hospital as quickly as possible.

The next phase for social care is going to be challenging but the opportunity to contribute to making social care work and supporting people to have security and high quality care in their old age is hugely inspiring – we’re excited to contribute.

CHS Healthcare grows the Continuing Healthcare provision with acquisition of BroadCare

CHS Healthcare has acquired BroadCare, a widely commissioned and highly rated database for NHS funded Continuing Healthcare information.

This exciting new development reflects our commitment to invest in and grow our business.

This acquisition, together with our existing product Caretrack, greatly enhances our CHC provision as a business and the range of services which we can offer. Our CHC data management services now accounts for approximately 75 per cent of all provision to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) throughout England.

The BroadCare database will continue with all CCG contracts unchanged and employees working on and supporting BroadCare will also continue in their same roles, wholly focused on BroadCare.

We will be continuing to operate both systems as we recognise that Caretrack and BroadCare are very well established and highly valued platforms within the Continuing Healthcare field and we will continue to support and develop both as individual products.

Dr Richard Newland, chief executive of CHS Healthcare, commented: “This acquisition places our company in an even stronger and more dominant position within our field.  Our company vision, supported by our investors BGF, is to grow our company and for our services to be integral to the NHS and the social care sector.”

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