People living in care homes should expect the same level of health care support and treatment as if they were living in their own home. We know there are some great examples of how this happens across the country, but PCNs now have a national policy to support everyone living in a care home to access the healthcare they need, with a new way of working developing in primary care. Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS. Primary care includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry (eye health) services.
This level of support can only be achieved through collaborative working between health, social care, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and care home providers.
Through working across organisations in a co-ordinated way the individual will receive better, more co-ordinated and proactive care, delivered where they live. We know this can support:
- better outcomes for people through better management of their long-term condition(s)
- a reduction in unplanned hospital admissions
- a reduction in hospital as the place of death.
For the care home and other Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) members the benefits of building trusted working relationships will allow the whole system to work more effectively and efficiently, and to deliver care and support that matters to people in their home environment.