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MPs visit community nurses supporting some of the most vulnerable

by Debbie Manning | Oct 18, 2021

MPs Rachel Hopkins and Sarah Owen visited Luton Children’s and Adults Community Health Services on Friday (15 October) to learn how the teams are supporting some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Rachel, MP for Luton South and Sarah, MP for Luton North were told how staff – members of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust - provide front-line care in the community for children and adults, many with highly complex conditions.

They met Luci Kilby, Team Lead for Children’s Continuing Care who told them how theLuton MPs meet some of our childrens services staff nurses work 365 days a year, seven days a week to provide health care to children with complex life-long conditions. Rachel and Sarah were given the opportunity to meet virtually with the mother of one youngster who is supported by the team.

Rachel and Sarah also learnt how children’s services have launched a new Community Health Hub – single point of access – to bring all services under one email address and contact phone number.

Laura Bolino, Operational Support Manager told how some teams have already joined the Hub where trained administrators are at the end of the phone to offer help and advice and to signpost to the correct services. Eventually there will also be an online portal to allow electronic referrals from professionals into the services.

Rachel and Sarah were also invited to meet the adult services teams where they heard how Andy Boocock, Information Analyst had designed an easy to use interactive, digital data dashboard for partners across health and social care. The Population Health Management Tool was designed to meet the challenges posed  by the town’s growing elderly population and won an HSJ Patient Safety Award last year, recognising its outstanding contribution to healthcare.

Luton MPs meet some of our adult services staff

Later Claire McIntyre, Clinical Frailty Lead introduced Rachel and Sarah to the Falls Team and explained how they assess patients who have had a fall and support those at risk of falling through falls prevention.  

Deborah Holmes, At Home First Co-ordinator Team Lead talked about At Home First service, and the numbers of the 5Qs completed, which is a non-clinical assessment tool used for identifying patient needs, and about the GP Practice Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings, and the care/nursing home check-ins and MDT meetings taken place across Luton.  

Finally, Ellie Lyon, Respiratory Specialist Nurse and Zoe Brown, Project Support Manager explained how a remote health monitoring service for patients has been successfully implemented. Recently, the service won an NHS Digital Health Partnerships Award which will allow it to scale up this service, introducing new clinical pathways allowing additional cohorts of patients to be supported.

Jacqui Wynn, Head of Children’s Services said: “We were delighted to welcome Rachel and Sarah and show them the innovative work that is taking place in our teams. We are extremely proud of our staff for the way they have adapted and changed their ways of working to meet the challenges of the Covid pandemic. At the same time, they have managed to push ahead with new projects and our Children’s Community Health Hub is testament to their sheer determination.”

Pete Reeve, Director of Adult Services said: “Our teams have faced some of the biggest challenges of the Covid pandemic caring for extremely vulnerable patients and we are proud of everything they have done. They are carrying out innovative new ways of working with the help of our partners and these initiatives are making a big difference to the lives and health outcomes of the people of Luton. We were pleased to share these achievements with Rachel and Sarah.”

Rachel said: “It was so interesting to see how the teams met the huge challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, making significant changes to ensure both their patients and staff are safe. On behalf of our community, I can’t thank them enough. They should be proud of how they have adapted their services.”

Sarah said: “There is so much innovative work taking place in community services to improve the health outcomes and lives of those living in our borough. Some of our the most vulnerable members of our community are receiving the highest levels of care in their own homes without the need for unnecessary hospital admissions. Thank you to all the staff for their work and sharing their achievements with us.”

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The staff are wonderful; the receptionists were polite and efficient, the nurses I have seen, were incredible.