Strategic cell initiative for Dudley

Community nurses from the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust are piloting a new way of working with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) that will help to prevent unnecessary hospital conveyances.

The Strategic Capacity Cell pilot, which will run for three days from 21st to 23rd October, is being supported by a variety of hospital and community teams, and seeks to demonstrate how pairing specialist nurses with WMAS paramedics can keep people at home.

Providing care to patients at home rather than hospital means that they get the right treatment in a familiar setting, which can aid their recovery.

The initiative will be coordinated from the WMAS Emergency Operations Centre at in Brierley Hill with patients being seen by members of the response team at the Dudley Clinical Hub, based at Brierley Hill Health and Social Care Centre.

The team participating in the pilot includes a care coordinator, a triage nurse and an advanced nurse practitioner, who will diagnose and treat patients in their own homes to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions. Care home nurse practitioners will be on hand to make care home visits and see patients with chest infections, nutritional problems and those who have suffered falls.

The strategic capacity cell pilot is intended to support GPs by enabling nurses to assess, diagnose and prescribe for conditions that could otherwise end up with the patient being admitted to hospital. The long-term development of the clinical hub will sit with Dudley Multispecialty Community Partnership (MCP), and demonstrates the type of innovative, patient centered service that the MCP can deliver.

Community Lead, Karen Hanson  said: “This pilot project will enable us to have an Advanced Nurse Practitioner working with paramedics in the Emergency Operations Centre to direct appropriate WMAS calls to community services, as well as a triage nurse to liaise with our clinical hub.

“Many of our community nurses have a masters level or equivalent qualification in advanced clinical practice. This project will help to ensure that patients receive treatment outside of a hospital setting in their preferred place of care.”

Advanced Nurse Practitioner Dave Weston added: “We have lots of skills within our team. Community nurses come from all walks of nursing life, and it’s great to be able to apply our knowledge to help relieve pressure in other parts of the system.

“GPs can always refer patients directly into the clinical hub. Our community response team can respond quickly and ultimately help to save time and money for colleagues elsewhere in the NHS.”

For more information about the Dudley clinical hub, please email Dawn White, Clinical Lead for the Hub at dawn.white2@nhs.netor call the hub on 01384 321234.

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