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.