The Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency’s Regional Surge Plan for the NI Care Home Sector identified the need for ‘Clinical Care Pathways’ to help manage the effects of Covid-19 in homes.
The plan includes the expansion, redirection and repurposing of Acute Care @Home and Enhanced Care @ Home Teams across HSC Trusts in order to provide the necessary care and support to those living in nursing and residential care homes during the current pandemic crisis.
Each HSC Trust has now extended their membership of Care Home Support Teams to include Acute Care at Home / Enhanced Care at Home membership and have made links with local GPs and Covid-19 Centres across their localities.
Dr Frances O’Hagan, a GP from Armagh said: “This pandemic has been very challenging for all those affected by it, and no more so than our patients who are resident in care homes. I, as a GP working in Armagh and also in the Dungannon Covid GP assessment centre, feel it is very important that GPs can support these patients using all resources at their disposal. GPs are best placed to co-ordinate the care of these patients as we know our patients and their families. As we work with our homes on a daily basis we can discuss care with the staff who are doing a fantastic job in this very difficult time. We also have the highly skilled dedicated team in our Acute Care At Home Team in the Southern Area who have supported many residents in our care homes, with enhanced are in their homes and have kept many out of hospital.
The following video illustrates how the Acute Care @ Home Team in the Southern HSC Trust is supporting care homes as well as patients in their own homes.