The primary care home model allows for closer integration of social care with primary care, new guidance has said.
Primary care home and social care: Working together, published yesterday by the National Association of Primacy Care (NAPC) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) showcased examples of successful collaboration between primary and social care through the primary care home (PCH) model.
The PCH model is an established primary care network developed by the NAPC in a bid to provide personalised a preventative care at a local level through a multidisciplinary team.
There are currently 217 PCH sites in England.
The guidance offers examples of opportunities for integration at a local level and sets out recommendations to help primary and social care work more closely.
For instance, creating forums for primary care and social care professionals can help develop working relationships and come up with mutual solutions, the guidance said.
It is also important that practice managers, GPs and local social work services ensure multidisciplinary team meetings focus on patients at risk of hospital admissions or poor care.
Through multidisciplinary meetings, Wokingham Integrated Partnership on Health and Social Care staff identify patients at high, medium and low risk of hospital admission.
As a result of closer collaboration between primary and social care staff, unplanned admissions were down 64% and A&E attendances had reduced by 49%, as a review carried out in the first quarter of 2018 showed.
NAPC president Professor James Kingsland said: ‘There is growing evidence that closer working relationships between primary care and social care can improve the support we are able to provide patients; enhance the working lives of our health and social care professionals and eliminate costly duplication and inefficiency.
‘Our primary care home model has integration at its heart and those with local government as partners are seeing the real benefits of the alliance.’
ADASS president Glen Garrod said: ‘The guide highlights the excellent work councils are already doing with colleagues in primary care. It also offers an alternative vision of integration, which is built from a sense of place – the grass roots of communities, actively involving people who use services in shaping their goals and the services they want and need.’
Better integration between health and social care services is one of the Government’s priorities for the NHS 10-year plan, which as NHS chief executive announced this week will be published between 12 and 21 December, with the green paper on adult social care expected to come out at about the same time.
In a preview of the long-term plan, Prime Minister Theresa May announced last week that primary and community care services will receive £3.5bn a year by 2023/24to make sure people are better care at community level.
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