Suffolk County Council along with a local CCG, NHS Trust and Community Healthcare provider have joined forces to create the East Suffolk Care Homes Forum, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of residents within the area’s 104 care homes.
The forum has representatives of health commissioners from NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Suffolk County Council with representatives of local care homes, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Suffolk Community Healthcare.
The organisation will work collaboratively to improve working and communication between all agencies with responsibility for care home residents in East Suffolk.
Ben Harvey, the CCG’s care home clinical support manager and chairman of the forum said: “There’s a lot of good work happening across the care home sector in East Suffolk and this forum will build on that work to further enhance residents’ health and wellbeing.
“The forum members will meet regularly and through the sharing of good ideas will promote greater levels of partnership working and better support for care providers, so that the issues affecting care homes, other providers and health commissioners can be collaboratively addressed.
“Practically, the forum aims to reduce the number of avoidable unplanned hospital admissions by residents and enable them to receive appropriate care away from the hospital environment, as well as reducing the need for emergency 999 calls. This will be achieved by encouraging greater independence among residents and enabling them to have a greater say in how and where they are treated. The roll-out of the My Care Wishes plan will also see residents’ end-of-life care wishes fully taken into account, including their preferred choice of treatment and location of death.
“By bringing together the mix of skills, experience and ideas the East Suffolk Care Homes Forum is another step forward in delivering better care for our elderly population and making sure their later years are as happy and healthy as possible.”
Barbara McLean, the CCG’s chief nursing officer said “This is a really important initiative which will help focus all our efforts on ensuring care home residents get the best possible care. The forum will also give care providers extra support and offer an opportunity to share good ideas to promote better ways of working.”