An NHS programme is being rolled out in care homes across North West London to help care staff spot signs of residents being unwell.
The ‘Is my resident well?’ guide provides practical advice on what to do if someone shows signs of being unwell or deterioration and how to get the right help. It includes guidance on what to do if a resident falls or is suspected of having sepsis (serious infection).
The guide also provides practical information about how to prepare to call an NHS service when requesting medical help.
The guide contains 10 questions for carers to think about whilst providing every day care, like washing and dressing. The 10 questions go through simple steps to check breathing, bowel habits, hydration, pain, confusion, wellbeing and skin health (specifically looking out for the early signs of pressure sores).
Dr Asha Katwa GP and clinical lead for the guide and training said: “This pocket guide is designed to provide a simple method for care workers to assess their residents. By repeating the 10 questions during everyday interactions with the people they care for, it is hoped that care workers will be more confident in recognising some early warning signs of deterioration and be empowered to know what to do, to get the right help when needed.”
This month, 40 clinical staff across North West London are being trained on how to use the guide. The aim is to have 40% of care homes in the area using the guide by the end of 2018/19.
The guide has been developed by the North West London health and care partnership with staff from local authorities, care homes, NHS organisations and hospices, and supported by Health Education England.