Better organised health care, closer to home, is the aim of a new partnership of local organisations, including the NHS, Ealing Council and an array of charities and voluntary groups.
Ealing Community Partners will see the groups team-up to run services together for at least the next 10 years – to help people retain their independence at home and avoid a spell in hospital.
It brings together community nursing and occupational therapy; physiotherapy and falls prevention; mental health and psychology; speech and language therapy, and support for children with specialist health needs. And lots more besides.
The aim is to make it much easier for people in the borough to have all of their physical and mental health problems identified, assessed and treated in a co-ordinated way. As well as simplifying the current system, it should also improve patients’ overall health and wellbeing.
When the new partnership takes over later this summer, patients and carers should see no disruption to the support they currently receive.
Carolyn Regan, chief executive of West London NHS Trust, said: “Our overriding priority from day one is to make sure that patients, service users and carers see no difference to the care and support they receive. Patients will see the same doctors, nurses and other health and care professionals, and will continue to receive care in the same places as now.
“Poor physical and mental health is linked. In the future, we’ll be able to assess and treat people’s physical and mental health needs to provide the very best quality care to the people of Ealing.”
How will things be different?
It will become easier for you to get additional help when you need it.
Instead of your GP having to make multiple referrals for different services, they will be able to make a single referral to the local care team, which will have a care co-ordinator, community nurses, physiotherapists, mental health workers and will work closely with the social work team. The local team will be able better to understand what is important to you and offer you the support you need in the most appropriate setting, as close to home as possible.
When you are in hospital, you will be supported to return home as soon as you are well, and if you need additional support at home afterwards, you will be assessed quickly and the support you need will put into place straight away.
You will still be seen by the staff you know well but, in future, if they need some extra support to keep you well at home, or if your needs change, it will be easier for them to bring in more people to help you. And these people will have records telling them what has happened to you previously, so you will not have to go through everything again with them.
More information can be found on the West London NHS Trust website.