A Strata Health consulting team has presented a Strategic Paper fulfilling a major consulting study with the NHS’ Havering PCT and Social Services.  The Study was commissioned to analyze existing Community (ALC) discharge protocols and efficiencies within the Havering Whole Health Community which incorporates several NHS PCTs, Acute Trusts and the Social Services.

The Study outcomes were endorsed by all parties, and has resulted in the Havering PCT moving forward – in cooperation with Social Services – to implement an innovative integrated single point of acute discharge to all community care streams – whether NHS or Social Services managed.

“This was challenging work – but the Strata Health team approached the project by listening to our front line, and challenging our teams to put the patient at the centre of all interactions between our multiple organizations” commented John Cowman, Performance Leader Havering PCT.  “The project has clearly empowered us to cooperatively establish improved coordination of discharge to Community for the benefit of all stakeholders in our Health Community.”

The Study leveraged over 30 clinical focus groups, and mapped existing processes between two distinct stakeholder groups – the NHS and Social Services whose clinicians both work towards client placement to community care, but who have traditionally worked in varying degrees of isolation from the other even within the same geography.  The project identified a ‘shared best practice’  model based on dialogue with clinicians and management from the NHS and Social Services.

Mapping identified significant communication and operational gaps between organizations resulting in client placement delays, clinician stress and real challenges in consistent communication between the organizations.  All indicators projected to these issues accelerating as Britain’s aging demographics increase demand on community care options in the coming years.

Havering’s NHS and Social Services teams came together with this innovative study to look for better ways to work together in delivering an optimal patient journey for their shared client, while reducing ongoing discharge delays within the acute sector.  The Study recommendations will be deployed in Phases beginning May 2008.

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