The vanguard and the people it serves
Wirral Partners vanguard, known locally as the ‘Healthy Wirral’ scheme, is all about supporting and empowering people to live happy, fulfilling lives, wherever they live and whatever their situation. It is also about providing the environment for the vanguard’s diverse workforce to deliver outstanding care and support to the local population, whatever their role.
Wirral Partners is a partnership between the organisations that deliver health and social care in Wirral, including:
- NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group
- Wirral Council
- Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Wirral Community NHS Trust
- Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Local professional committees (medical, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry)
Together they serve a population of 330,000 people.
What is changing?
The partners are focused on shaping local services around what really matters to everyone in Wirral.
To do this, the organisations are working much more closely together, commissioning (buying) services jointly, supporting joined-up local services, and working in partnership with the large and diverse local communities and voluntary sector.
The vanguard is using support from the national new care models programme for working with new technologies to develop a new system where electronic patient records are shared across all health providers – creating Europe’s first ‘population health management digital infrastructure’.
The information that can be gained from the system – such as the numbers of people with certain health conditions and any trends or patterns in who becomes unwell – can be used to better plan the services that people need and improve the efficiency of the health and care system.
- Improving health and wellbeing outcomes
- Improving patients’ and service users’ experience
- Providing efficient, well organised and value for money health and social care services
Contact Wirral Partners
You can also follow the Wirral Partners vanguard on Twitter: @healthy_wirral
1. Vanguard funding helps support people with diabetes closer to home
Funding from the vanguard programme has been used to set up a community diabetes clinic where hospital diabetes consultant Dr Leong offers patients care closer to home.
The aim is to improve the links between hospital and community care for people with diabetes and a second clinic will be launched soon.
45-year-old Sarah now benefits from receiving specialist care locally. She said: “I had my appointment at St George’s Medical Centre in New Brighton – I work in Liverpool so the appointment was close and convenient. Dr Leong took time to question me about what I was doing, looking at the medication practically.
“My family are all diabetic and Dr Leong started looking at alternative treatments and planning forward for when I get older. My diabetes control has not been good but I think with his help it will be better.”
Other plans supported by the vanguard include a specialist diabetes nurse going into nursing homes to educate and support staff; diabetic foot clinics to cope with the increasing number of patients with problems; and improved retinopathy screening for damage that can be caused in the eye by diabetes.
Dr Leong said: “We want to target pre-diabetic people before they become ill, and ensure those managing the condition are able to access the best possible standard of care. Through this, we will hopefully reduce the number of people with diabetes, and make it easier for those with the condition to manage it more effectively.”
2. Sharing information to support patient care and a more efficient system
To offer the best care for patients who use more than one part of the health service, the Wirral partners are working together to create a ‘Wirral care record’.
The Wirral care record is an online record that will contain all the information that has been recorded within a number of organisations, for example hospitals, GP practices, community services and social care. The record can then be seen and used by professionals in other organisations if needed.
Dr Sue Wells, a Wirral GP involved in the project, believes that sharing information about patients will lead to better results and a better patient experience as well as helping the healthcare system run more efficiently.
She said: “The Wirral care record will improve the care that I give and the care the patient receives from any point in the system, through having accurate information in the right place at the right time.
“Instead of having separate information systems in different organisations, the aim of the vanguard is to push towards working together better, providing joined-up care that is focused around the patient, not around the system.”
The information gathered across the population will also help doctors focus on health conditions and patient groups that have been identified as needing more attention to manage their health or prevent illness, such as those with diabetes and respiratory conditions.
The Wirral care record project is due to go live in autumn 2016. For more information on the Wirral care record visit the Healthy Wirral website.