My DCHS Blog

Team focus: Care home advisory service

A team with varied skills including a nurse, a physiotherapist, two occupational therapists and administration support, they work with care homes, clinical commissioning groups and health and social care to provide improved resident wellbeing and care standards in care homes throughout Derbyshire, through training, advice and support.

Sally-ann Mee, coordinator for the team explains: “I can describe the work of our team in one sentence - working together to improve quality in care homes.”

How do they improve quality?

One of the team’s recent projects has been carrying out free acute kidney injury training for care home staff, commissioned by South Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Acute kidney injury is sudden damage to the kidneys that causes them to not work properly. It normally happens as a complication of another serious illness, and not the result of a physical blow to the kidneys, as the name might suggest.

This type of kidney damage is usually seen in older people who are unwell with other conditions, so care homes can encounter this condition on a regular basis. 20-30% of cases could be avoided, and an acute kidney injury can increase a person’s hospital stay by 4.6 days, costing an extra £5,469 per person. 100,000 deaths are associated with kidney injuries every year in the UK.

Following the training there was a 40% decrease in care home residents showing signs of dehydration, and a 50% decrease in referrals to health professionals. It was so successful that South Derbyshire has asked the team to run more sessions and Hardwick CCG has commissioned them to run training sessions in the north of the county.

They are also working alongside Nottingham University on a project called Falls in Care Homes, and they have just finished working with South Derbyshire CCG on activity training for care homes.

The team have a really close bond and enjoy working together, as Sally-ann adds: “We have food fuddles when it’s anyone’s birthday and we always participate in Christmas Jumper Day. We have been told that one of the healthiest things you can do is a 30 minute walk each day, so we are going to start doing lunchtime walks when we are all in the office  together.”

For more information about the team, please call 0115 844 4032, or email dchst.chas@nhs.net

You can also like them on Facebook - search for ‘carehomeadvisoryservice’ or tweet them @dchschas.