Working together for quality care

Hi all – despite my best intentions I did not get to see any of the football at the weekend.  Unfortunately my Dad took a turn for the worse and I had to go up to the North East to see him in hospital.  Although his continuing ill health is causing the whole family angst I was really impressed by the quality of care he is receiving there, and the importance of an effective health service that works closely with its partners for the benefit of its customers and patients.

This was reinforced to me last week when I was shadowed by a senior manager from Burton Hospital part of their personal development programme.

 It was a good opportunity for me to spend time with a colleague from the NHS and understand issues from their point of view. Closer working with health professionals will be vital over the next few years, particularly in light of the government’s plans for health which will see Councils taking a wider role.  We need to work harder to provide personalised services that concentrate on what help and support people receive, not who provides it.

 My NHS shadow wasn’t only impressed by some of the work being done at the county council, but also the enthusiasm with which the work is being done.

 For instance we have done some exceptional work around hospital discharge rates. “Bed blocking” used to be a chronic problem, with many elderly people in particular languishing in hospital because there was a lack of suitable care available for them when they left.

 Some of our reablement work  is pioneering and helping people regain their independence and dignity. This is how we must continue to focus our efforts. It improves the quality of life for individuals, but also represents much better value-for-money for the taxpayer.

 The recent Health White Paper signalled closer working between local Government and the NHS and Staffordshire will be at the forefront of making this joined-up approach work.

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