Nourish attended a fascinating event at the King’s Fund last week, drawing together people from a diverse range of roles all focusing on the same question – how can we achieve truly integrated care in care homes?
The answer is inherently complex, but the need so great that there is no alternative but to find a solution. Good news came from some wonderful real-life examples, where multi-disciplinary teams have truly worked together to create systems that deliver high-quality care. A common theme reported was that relationships between people involved were critical. Getting the right people involved, who were prepared and able to understand the perspective and challenges of their colleagues from other areas as well as their own, who had the right approach and an overwhelming drive to deliver good care, and who were empowered to make good decisions, led to measureable improvements.
Significant challenges still exist, notably in communication. There needs to be agreement that information should be shared and communicated. Decisions need to be made about exactly who should access and record exactly what. Crucially there needs to be an effective and efficient physical method of sharing and communicating that information. We believe that to date, options for truly effective delivery in this area have been limited. But with the right tools in place, and strong will from all sides to succeed, the time is right to join the dots. Getting it right will produce quantifiable improvements to the quality of care.
And then once again, the discussion naturally comes full circle back to the same point, the reason we started doing what we do. At the centre of these circles of people interacting and working successfully together are real people, who need good care. Understanding the perspective of the person, no matter who they are, where they sit and what they do, unlocks wonders.