26 September 2019

Care home staff from across Cheshire and Merseyside are celebrating the culmination of six months of shared learning about how they can continue to improve patient care. 

The Cheshire and Merseyside Care Home Academy brought together system leaders in the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities to recruit staff from 13 care homes in the region for a series of learning sessions on workplace culture, quality improvement and leadership.The system leaders participated in the shared learning to support improvement in the care homes.

Participants attended sessions delivered by the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA), the Innovation Agency, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the NHS Leadership Academy. 

Staff from other care homes gave presentations about improvement projects they had delivered. The group also heard from a lived experience expert, who talked about redesigning services in collaboration with residents and their families.

Care home staff who took part in the academy created posters which were displayed to health and care professionals at the Innovation Agency's Digital Ecosystem event which focussed on empowering care homes through innovation and improvement.

Staff will now focus on addressing challenges in their organisations such as reporting procedures, hydration, virtual medical assessments, falls and dementia. 

Christine Griffith-Evans, Deputy Director of Nursing NHS England and NHS Improvement North West, said: “It has been a privilege to work with the individuals who have attended this course and watch them undertake their improvement journeys.

“It has been a true exercise in collaboration across all services. Staff from different organisations have  worked  together to form sustainable partnerships to address issues that they have identified within their own areas. 

“Utilising the skills they have learned, there have been some excellent examples of well-led quality improvements and plans that will benefit our local health and social care system. These improvements should benefit  everyone , including staff and most importantly the people we all care for.”

Andrew Cooper, the Innovation Agency’s associate director for patient safety, said: “The Innovation Agency delivers the national NHS England and NHS Improvement Patient Safety Collaborative work streams across Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria. The deteriorating patient work stream has been embedded in secondary care settings, with the next logical step being integrating into primary care and community settings. 

“Care homes are a hugely important element of this work in communities with significant opportunity for improving the patient journey through the early identification of deterioration and prevention of sepsis. It’s been incredibly rewarding to celebrate the improvements developed by participants in the Care Home Academy, and I congratulate and commend them all for their hard work and ongoing commitment.”

The Care Home Academy was delivered in partnership with NHS England, AQuA and the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast. The initiative is part of the National Patient Safety Improvement Programme's (NPSIP) deteriorating patient workstream, which aims to improve the recognition of and response to deterioration in all care settings for adult patients. The programme is delivered locally by the Innovation Agency.

Photo: Amanda Huddleston, Quality Improvement Lead AQuA, talking to attendees during a celebration event to mark the culmination of the Cheshire and Merseyside Care Home Academy

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