Providing nursing support within residential care homes
Wild, D., Nelson, S. J. and Szczepura, A. (2008) Providing nursing support within residential care homes. Project Report. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/12744
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Publisher's URL: http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/2202.pdf
This study examines a joint NHS-Local Authority initiative providing a dedicated nursing and physiotherapy team to three residential care homes in Bath and North East Somerset. The initiative aims to meet the nursing needs of residents where they live and to train care home staff in basic nursing.Hospital admissions and nursing home transfers were prevented. Care home staff and managers preferred residents to be able to stay in their home when they were ill, as did residents themselves. • Enhancing health-orientated education and training of care home staff was challenging at first but relationships improved, and the confidence and professionalism of care staff grew. • Residents’ nursing needs cannot simply be equated with their level of dependency. For example, a resident with dementia can be functionally independent yet have major, often un-communicated health needs. • The early detection of illness and resulting opportunity for early intervention was a major part of the team’s work. Residents were likely to benefit from improved quality of life. • Overall, estimates of costs and savings ranged from a ‘worst case’ scenario of £2.70 extra to a more likely scenario of £36.90 saved per resident per week. Savings were mainly in reduced use of NHS services, while the Primary Care Trust and Adult Social Services both funded the intervention, highlighting the need for partnership working to sustain funding. • The researchers conclude that any increase in cost should be measured against the benefits of promoting long-term quality of life, quality of care and providing a firm foundation for future workforce development.