On the 22 May 2018, Members of Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership Board will be asked to consider and approve a proposal for consultation on the transformation of health and social care services.

Set out in 3 parts, the ‘Joining Up Care’ consultation is in response to the:

  • growing demand for services
  • increasing complex care needs
  • publics’ desire to live well at home for longer, and;
  • national recommendations

The 3 parts are as follows:

Part 1: Community and Wellbeing Hubs

Introduce more joined up ways of working between professionals to co-ordinate care and appointments, help reduce waiting times and improve the care experience through proactive intervention and working locally in communities.

Part 2: Re-designing Out of Hours Urgent Care

When the GP surgery is shut, these are the services that see members of the public who are looking for a GP or a nurse (advice, treatment centre care and home visits).  As well as minor injury services and the evening and night District Nursing service. It is important to state, that this is not Accident and Emergency at the hospital.

There are two options being proposed within this section. They will both have:

An Urgent Care Resource Hub

Will be an area where staff from a number of health and social care urgent services work together to coordinate service delivery. It will direct how services work in the out of hours period to make best use of resources and support so people access the right service as quickly as possible.

Urgent Care Centre(s)

This will deliver urgent care in a safe place that the public can go to. It will provide GP services, and minor injury services and can act as a base for a range of other urgent care services.

These changes are being proposed in response to the national and local challenges in regards to GP shortages, national recommendations in regards to Out of Hours and are to ensure the on-going clinical safety of patients.  The proposal does not relate to in-hours minor injuries service provision.

Part 3:   Bringing Care Closer to Home – Community Hospital bed based care

Once people no longer need hospital care, it is better for them to get home or continue their care journey in a homely setting as quickly as possible. We know our current model could be more efficient, as some people are staying in hospital for longer than their needs require. We need to move some of our resources from hospitals to community based teams and provide care at home or in homely settings.

The aim is to:

  • Support people to leave hospital earlier
  • Proactively support people at home or in a homely setting so they can regain skills and confidence and stay independent for longer
  • Make sure people have access to the right type of bed at the right time, wherever they live in Fife, and;
  • Focus the use of Community Hospital beds on people with complex health conditions who need round the clock nursing care.

The proposal is to seek the public’s thoughts on the Partnership’s initial thinking where they are seeking to redefine models of care, considering where care should be in a hospital bed and where else people could best be cared for to improve their experience.

The collective goal of the ‘Joining Up Care’ proposition is to establish a fully integrated 24 hours, 7 days a week community health and social care model that ensures sustainable, safe and more individual experience of care.  If approved, the proposals will go forward for a 14 week public consultation.

Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership explains:

“From the youngest to the oldest, the fittest to the frailest we want people to live well in Fife. Ensuring the right care, from the right person at the right time is vital, whether this is responding to a poorly child after the GP is shut, being more proactive to support independence and wellbeing or giving complex round the clock medical care to those with long term conditions.

We know people value their local services highly, but the challenges are such that leaving services as they are is not a safe, sustainable or responsible option.  To meet modern demands, we need to adapt systems and change ways of working that have been in place for many years. We need to join care across communities and hospital services so we can continue to respond to peoples’ physical, emotional and social needs.  This includes peoples’ desire to stay independent and at home for longer.    We must also think of frontline staff and the increasing pressures they face.

“The future of Fife’s integrated care services involves all of us all.  By bringing together the review of Urgent Care Out of Hours, development of community health and wellbeing hubs and community hospital re-design under one ‘Joining Up Care’ proposal, the aim is to create a comprehensive approach to evolving services, one which will involve full consultation with the public before any change is made.  We await the decision by Members on the 22 May.”

Full copies of the ‘Joining Up Care’ Consultation proposal papers are now available on Fife Direct.    A draft ‘Joining Up Care’ Consultation Summary document is included and you can find that here.