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Lords report calls for enhanced clinical training in care homes

Four key obstacles—structures and organisation, contracts, data-sharing, and workforce – hinder the implementation of integration policies across health and care, according to a new House of Lords report.  

Patients at the centre: integrating primary and community care states that care home service users are constantly being inconvenienced, endangered, or miss improved long-term health because they are not receiving joined-up care, in the right place, at the right time.

The report specifically highlights unnecessary trips by care home residents to the GP due to the unavailability of online consultations with clinicians, or the lack of consistent access to a community nurse. The Committee also heard how a shortage of social care places leads to delayed discharge from hospital.

Concluding, the House of Lords Integration of Primary and Community Care Committee, which published the report, said: “Integration can help improve patient experience and offers a viable solution to many of the challenges facing the health service.”  

The report makes four recommendations:

  • Structures and organisation: Membership of ICSs should be widened, with better inspection for improved accountability
  • Contracts and funding: Joint funding models should be enhanced to redice funding disparities between the NHS and local authorities
  • Data sharing: data interoperability issues (the ease with which different computer systems can communicate) and widespread IT inadequacies need correcting.
  • Workforce and training: Enhanced training for social care workers, eg, in supporting catheter care, would enable them to work more effectively with primary and community care. Social care needs to be included in the NHS’s Long Term Workforce Plan to ensure that enough well-trained social carers are available.


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