Aileen Jackson is a senior project manager for the dementia and diabetes programmes at the Health Innovation Network (HIN), the Academic Health Science Network for South London @hinsouthlondon
The Health Innovation Network (HIN) for South London like the BGS has an active programme to work with care homes to learn about, share and spread and adopt good practice in South London. During our last biannual care home forum we held a quick fire Q&A session led by two South London GPs Dr Nwakuru Nwaogwugwu and Dr Charles Gostling asking the question ’How do you get the best out of your care home GP?’ Everyone agreed that a good common denominator was to ensure that the GP was welcomed with tea and cake hopefully prepared and baked by the care home residents. The forum then set to work on developing the basis for really useful HIN guide for care and nursing homes to get the most out of their GP. It was acknowledged by all that sometimes the GP care home relationship can be quite fractured due to genuine pressures on both GPs and the care home sector and the lively and interactive discussion provided a platform to discuss problems for GPs and care homes such as time constraints, a lack of confidence, training issues, external pressures and staff retention.
Following the care home forum event , the HIN decided it was really important to share and spread the learning and asked Dr Nwaogwugwu and Dr Gostling to gather all the ideas put forward by the care and nursing homes and together with the HIN ‘Care home GP’ was created . The guide is an easy, one page prompt for care and nursing home staff and GPs to fully prepare for the GP visit. The ‘Care home GP’ guide encourages and escorts care and nursing home staff and GPs through how to be proactive, take ownership and actively partner with the GP to focus on patient centred care.
The Care Home work is led by the Health Innovation Network Dementia programme which launched in February 2014. The stakeholders agreed that despite the high profile of dementia in national policy, care homes in particular were a neglected area. Given that an estimated one third of people with dementia live in care homes (an estimated 9,000 people in south London) and approximately 70 per cent of people who live in residential and nursing homes experience memory problems, our members felt strongly that the Health Innovation Network had a role in driving up the quality of care in residential and nursing homes. @hinsouthlondon