Intervention from the Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has seen an improvement in hydration and nutrition at a number of local care homes, according to a report by Healthwatch Surrey.
Since launching its Quality in Care Homes (QiCH) programme in January 2017, the clinical commissioning group has worked with one third of the 71 care homes in Surrey Downs.
The number of hospital admissions due to urine infections, falls and complications stemming from existing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions has fallen following the work by the CCG.
In the report, the independent health watchdog praises the QiCH team for its approach to offering tailored support and advice to management and staff.
It states: “Care homes reported that the QiCH team come into the homes and get to know the issues, which is important to the care home teams. The QiCH team are seen as experts who are trusted to give good advice alongside emotional support and understanding.”
Jennifer Halliday, urgent care and integration project support manager at Surrey Downs CCG, said: “Keeping cool, hydrated and well fed in hot weather is vital for the health of older people, especially those over 65 years and living in care homes. Heatwaves can prove fatal in some cases, but with proper hydration and nutrition many ill effects can be avoided.”
She added: “In care homes we created ‘hydration stations’ so residents were better able to serve themselves water, squash and other drinks at any point throughout the day, without having to wait for food service or ask a member of staff.”
Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for commissioning healthcare for the 300,000 people living in Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, East Elmbridge, Dorking and surrounding areas.
The CCG is made up of 31 GP practices and buys healthcare from local hospitals, community services, social care, ambulance services and mental health care.