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Luton MP visits community nursing teams after nominating them for national award

by Jo Bond | Oct 13, 2020

Luton MP visits community nursing teams after nominating them for national award

MP Rachel Hopkins Visits luton treatment centreLuton South MP, Rachel Hopkins visited the town’s community nursing teams on Friday (October 2) to find out more about their work and how they have adapted during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Rachel met specialist nurses from Luton Children’s and Adults Community Health Services working as part of the adults’ TB team and children’s rapid response team. Her visit came after she nominated both teams for the annual Parliamentary Health Awards.
Rachel said: “It was a pleasure to visit both teams and hear more about their vital work. I was impressed to see how well they are working in partnership with other organisations such as NHS 111 and the town’s homeless shelter to keep the people of Luton safe. I wish them every success in the Parliamentary Health Awards.”

Rapid response nurses welcomed Rachel at their clinic at the Luton Treatment Centre where children are referred with potentially urgent conditions such as fever or head injury. The team was believed to be the first in the country to introduce direct referrals from NHS 111 for children under five in a bid to reduce hospital emergency attendance. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the service has been extended to cover children and young people up to the age of 16. The clinic now runs seven days a week and covers Luton, South Bedfordshire and villages in central Bedfordshire.

During 2019, a total of 1,511 referrals were accepted by the team, 835 of which came from NHS 111. The service has successfully enabled 1297 children (86% of those referred) to avoid a trip to A&E, a hospital admission or a visit to their GP; improving accessibility for local families across the county.  

Lynn Fanning, team lead said: “Our aim is to provide care for acutely unwell children in the community and keep them out of hospital. We are proud to share with Rachel all we have achieved in leading the way in children and young people’s services across Luton and parts of Bedfordshire. Visits like this are a great way to raise awareness of our service and how we work in collaboration with our children’s community teams, NHS 111, GPs, hospital colleagues in A&E and the paediatric assessment unit and the ambulance service.” 

Rachel also met the adult nurses at the centre who work to control Tuberculosis and reduce the spread of infection in Luton. Their work has led to the number of cases of this life-threatening disease being halved in just six years. The nurses work in partnership with the local hospital, other authorities and the town’s homeless shelter. 

Mike McMahon, clinical lead said: “It was lovely to meet Rachel today and to explain how we’re supporting people in Luton. TB is treatable but there is still so much stigma surrounding it, in fact it’s the biggest cause of death for women. It’s time to talk about it. 

“In 2016 we became one of the first community-led services to pilot the national Latent Tuberculosis Infection Screening Programme tracing those people who were at risk of developing the disease in the future. We focus on prevention as much as treatment here at the centre”.

Luton Children’s and Adult Community Health Services are part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and Matthew Winn, Chief Executive said: “We were delighted to welcome Rachel and thank her for nominating our teams for the Parliamentary Health Awards.

“Both these teams have led on ground-breaking work in their fields and we are very proud of their achievements to date.”

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