Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of the Wessex AHSN Healthy Ageing Newsletter
This last quarter has seen lots of activity and progress across a number of our workstreams (see further details below), from presenting the Wessex acute frailty audit at the 2019 National Acute Frailty Network (AFN) Conference to an article on the Nutrition Wheel being published in CN Focus.
The team continues to be focused on working with our stakeholders to improve outcomes for people living with frailty. We've met the CEO of the British Geriatrics Society Sarah Mistry and Policy Manager Sarah Greenbrook and welcomed the new Associate Clinical Professor of Older People and Frailty at University of Southampton, Euan Sadler.
This week, the Long Term Plan Implementation Framework has been published and will enable us to develop some of the ideas we have already started planning for in 2020/2021. Exciting times!
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Southern Health pilot Droplet in community wards
We know that hydration in older adults is a challenge in all settings. The symptoms of dehydration, and its subsequent effects, are worsened by those who live with frailty and multiple long term conditions. At Southern Health, we are introducing Droplet Intelligent Hydration devices as a pilot across several community hospital wards, and a community team, to test their use within our care settings.
Droplet has already been proven to work in acute settings - increasing fluid intake by 60%! We're working to increase this figure, and to prevent harm to patients by improving their hydration. The outcomes that will be measured are: individual daily fluid intake, year-on-year data for falls, UTIs and length of stay. The trial started on the 20th ofJune 2019, and is being led by by Frailty Practitioner, Joshua Hammond. If you’d like to know more, please email Joshua: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Healthy Ageing team@WessexAgeing has developed a new interactive tool: the Nutrition Wheel. Due for launch in Autumn '19, the tool aims to identify whether someone is at increased risk of undernutrition by asking some simple questions. Find out more here
We have been working with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Bournemouth University on the INSCCOPe project (“Implementing Nutrition Screening in Community Care for Older People”) since 2017. The project (which included both service development and research) looked at the barriers and enablers to implementing a new procedure around undernutrition screening and treatment in the community, and was funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing.
As an output from this project, a workbook entitled “Managing malnutrition (as undernutrition) and caring for older people living in the community” was launched in April 2019. The workbook aims to support staff working in community teams (e.g. nursing, therapy and integrated teams)
June 12 2019 saw the launch of the Wessex ESCAPE-pain Network and we were delighted to welcome over 30 professionals who came together to discuss the benefits of the education and exercise programme, barriers to implementation and potential solutions.
The diverse nature of the group meant we had a wealth of experience around commissioning and implementing the programme, which was reflected in the passion and enthusiasm displayed in the break out session.
A big thank you to all of our speakers including our own Jo Marks (ESCAPE-pain clinical lead),
Dave Meehan (Wessex AHSN's Deputy CEO), Megan Kirbyshire from the West of England AHSN, Sarah Clarke and Becky Shipley from Versus Arthritis and of course Chloe Davanna and Jake Hedges who talked us through the successful implementation of ESCAPE-pain at River Park Leisure Centre and Tighearnach O'Murchu who has been instrumental in spreading the programme across a number of Physio led sites in Dorset. It was great to hear your case studies and feedback from the participants working to improve their osteoarthritis and joint pain. We're looking forward already to our next meeting in November.
Is Wessex Frailty Fit?
The Healthy Ageing Programme and NHS Benchmarking team reflect on the power of collaboration to improve healthcare provision for patients living with frailty.
Following on from the success of the 2018 Wessex Acute Frailty Audit and the February 2019 Executive workshop, two task and finish groups have been convened to increase the awareness of frailty across the region, resulting in better care for patients living with frailty.
The workstreams are well represented by clinical colleagues from across the Wessex geography and are meeting monthly to move the projects forward.
1. Training and awareness
Across Wessex there is variation in the understanding of frailty due to the lack of mandatory, formalised, structured training which means that colleagues are unable to access standardised training according to their role, resulting in patchy awareness and knowledge. There is presently no requirement for Trusts to deliver frailty awareness at induction or mandatory training relating to frailty. The task and finish group will develop a training and awareness programme to bring together online resources, videos and validated information to support the understanding and management of frailty as a syndrome.
The materials will support Tier 1 and Tier 2 Skills for Health frailty competencies.
The resource will be transferable across settings and it is hoped there will be an interface with patients and families.
2. Frailty Screening and identification
Following on from the audit and workshop, local acute trusts are focused on improving screening and improving how this information is shared with colleagues, giving the hospital oversight of where patients living with frailty are located as well as their level of frailty.
The group is developing a recommended standard for screening and identification of frailty that can be used within the training and awareness package, but to also provide some hints and tips to screening approaches.
In tandem with this, a suite of case studies will be compiled to highlight best practice from across the region.
Community Frailty Audit
To complement the Wessex Acute Frailty Audit, work is in progress to develop a Community Frailty Audit at Primary Care Network (PCN) level to understand the level of frailty awareness and service provision that is provided across our patch. With representation from Consultant Geriatricians and consultant frailty practitioners, the audit will capture best practice and identify areas for service improvement.
This is the first audit of its kind within the region and nationally, so will begin to form a local framework for delivery of the NHS Long term plan and frailty agenda.
I’ve been in a reflective mood for some months! The 70th Birthday celebrations of the NHS last year, publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, New GP contract, Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday next year to name just a few and I also have a significant ‘0’ birthday in 2020 which has led me to contemplate next steps....... Click here to read more