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Birmingham Community Healthcare delivering accessible community care

Birmingham Community Healthcare is helping to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions thanks to the launch of a new citywide model for providing personalised services to adults in their own homes.

With adult community care high on the agenda, 43 multidisciplinary teams will be working within local communities to provide flexible support for adults in their homes. Survey after survey reveals that patients prefer to receive treatment in their own home if possible rather than be admitted to hospital.

As part of the service redesign, Birmingham Community Healthcare has also launched a single point of access to help professionals arrange the right care for both urgent and non-urgent referrals, helping to prevent avoidable hospital admissions and effectively manage long-terms conditions in the community.

The single point of access provides a 24/7 phoneline which can provide urgent clinician-to-clinician assessment and care co-ordination for any patient registered with a Birmingham GP. It also provides a bed bureau service, managing access to acute beds for urgent medical/surgical management and, where delivery of domiciliary care is not the best option, admission to community hospitals and intermediate care units managed by the Trust.

This citywide model of adult community care is designed to create a broad network of support for the entire city, reducing unnecessary admissions to acute hospitals and speeding up the discharge process for people who have required care on an inpatient basis.

To access urgent and non-urgent care via the single point of access, referrers should call:

0300 555 1919

Pat Hackett, director of adults and community division for Birmingham Community Healthcare, said the ambition is to provide a citywide service with the agility to co-ordinate personalised care for every individual.

"Our staff have been very active in shaping a new model for the whole city with the flexibility to respond to local needs,” she said.

“That will mean more care provided in the community, helping to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and enabling people to be discharged earlier back to their homes where they belong.

"Our aim throughout this process has been to put in place a robust, consistent and equitable structure across the city with the flexibility to meet the challenges ahead."

The single point of access can co-ordinate care delivery including advanced assessments within two hours for patients needing urgent health interventions and care who can remain at home. The service also provides a four-hour response for patients needing district nursing care, long-term condition management and treatment at home. The referral process is very simple, open to anyone from GPs and hospital staff, through to community health professionals and even patients and their carers. The telephone number for the referral centre is 0300 555 1919.

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