Better Care

Early intervention test sites launched

Five locations in south Birmingham are testing new ways of delivering hospital admission-avoiding early intervention after an older person experiences a trigger such as an illness or injury.

Early intervention (EI) describes what happens after an older person experiences a trigger eg. an illness or injury, and how they are supported to make a quick recovery.

This support is provided for a short time with the aim of helping the older person remain in their home wherever possible, avoiding both hospital admission and premature admission to long-term residential care.

There are five locations or areas in the south of the city currently testing new ways of delivering EI, with staff working collaboratively for the first time across organisational boundaries with a system-wide perspective.

Richard Kirby visits Edgbaston early intervention team.
BCHC chief executive Richard Kirby (fourth from right) visits the community early intervention team in Edgbaston.

These locations are:

Juniper Centre based at Moseley Hall Hospital

Norman Power Centre

• Queen Elizabeth Hospital - older person’s assessment and liaison (OPAL)

• Queen Elizabeth Hospital - discharge hub

• community setting (Edgbaston)

The aim is to look at how older people are supported to make a quick recovery and what can be done to make sure a ‘home first’ ethos is adopted at each site. Each location has a lead member of staff who is responsible for driving this work.

The leads, who meet fortnightly to share learning and ideas, have various health and social care roles and include occupational therapists, nurses, social workers and consultants.

Following a visit to the new early intervention community team for Edgbaston, BCHC chief executive Richard Kirby said he was "really encouraged by the enthusiasm".

"This is at the heart of everything we are doing to redesign our services for older people through the Birmingham and Solihull STP ‘ageing and later life’ work," he added.