Surrey Heartlands hosted a visit by a group of senior Dutch hospital leaders in September, who were keen to understand more about the NHS.
One of the highlights was a visit to Epsom Hospital where they found out about the Epsom Health and Care @home service.
This service was created to provide better all-round care for people aged over 65 in Epsom and the surrounding areas. It aims to improve the patient experience by linking services so that it can address both short and longer term problems, supporting people to live as independently as they can. It also strives to prevent them getting acutely unwell by co-ordinating all of the health and social care services they need.
The service is provided by one team of people working across different health and social care services, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, community matrons, social care workers and re-ablement assistants from social care. They meet daily to share information and discuss individual patients. The team also works closely with mental health, voluntary and community organisations, carer and patient representatives, district and borough councils so it can access many other community services if required.
Patient feedback has been very positive. One member of the community said: “I have many chronic conditions and the @home team has made a huge difference to me. I’ve had a lifetime of hospitals so to be able to be cared for at home, and, if I do have to spend time in hospital, to come home sooner knowing all of the support I need is organised is just fantastic – not just for me but for my family too.”