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About us

A care home resident is offered a biscuit by staff member

East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with Hertfordshire County Council and the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association on an NHS England Care Homes (vanguard) project to provide planned, proactive and preventative support to elderly care home residents with complex care needs.

We were chosen from 269 other contenders to be a care home vanguard site – and are one of just six care home projects in the country – because our approach was considered to be one of the most innovative.

Research shows that care home residents with complex and long-term conditions are often taken to hospital and sent back the same day. This is not only unsettling for the patient, but adds to the strain on the ambulance service and A&E departments.

Our aim is to help elderly residents living in care homes across east and north Hertfordshire to stay out of hospital, through regular visits from a dedicated GP practice, better trained staff, patient record sharing and expert medication reviews. 

Better care for care home residents will reduce A&E admissions because patients are:

  • much more likely to be taken to A&E than those living at home 
  • often taken to hospital and sent back the same day – which is disruptive for the patient
  • on average taking 7 prescribed medicines – medication errors are more common in care homes

The four strands to the project are:

  • CONFIDENT STAFF – upskilling staff to feel more confident about supporting residents’ health and wellbeing
  • MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAMS – support and advice from pharmacists, dieticians, geriatricians, mental health professionals, doctors and nurses
  • RAPID RESPONSE – Frailty vehicle delivering expert care/support and teams of community nurses, therapists deployed to care homes within 90 minutes
  • EFFECTIVE TECHNOLOGY – GP access to comprehensive patient information when they visit them

If our project is successful we would expect to see:

Fewer More
  • 999 calls
  • A&E attendances
  • Emergency admissions to hospital
  • Short stays in hospital 
  • Calls to the out of hours GP service from care homes
  • ‘Delayed transfers of care’
  • Medication errors and problematic polypharmacy
  • People living healthier lives for longer in care homes
  • Calls to NHS 111
  • Staff, residents and families reporting feeling satisfied with care
  • Care home staff choosing to stay longer in their jobs
  • People dying in their preferred location

More information is available here

Understanding the NHS vanguard programme

Working with the NHS Confederation, NHS Clinical Commissioners, and the Local Government Association, NHS Providers have produced the foillowing animation to explain the purpose and aims of the NHS vanguard programme. There are currently 50 vanguards across the country, grouped into five new care models, of which we are one.