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South London Small Grants 2016 Winner: REducing Admissions from Care Homes (REACH) Training Project

This blog series have been written by the winners of last year’s South London Small Grants (Innovation & Diffusion Awards).

Project REACH is the brain child of four Bexley based women working in the Health and Social Care sector: Liz Nicholls, Primary Care Turor (Bexley CEPN); Wendy Milligan, Project Manager (Bexley CEPN); Pauline Wortman,
Primary Care Development Manager (Bexley CCG) and Meera Parkash, Care Homes Pharmacist (Bexley CCG).

REACH is a tele-video based UTI and Falls training programme, which will be accessible to care home staff at their convenience. The training package is being produced by a clinician and a tutor to target carers and HCAs. All carers that access the training will have follow up sessions to assess competency in working practice – any gaps in knowledge and areas for improvement will be identified as part of the learning.

Initially, the pilot is running across two care homes. It will then be reviewed and spread across Bexley.

Where did the idea for REACH come from?

The idea came from wanting to include the nursing / residential care homes in the training agenda and how best to do that. I think it was also due to the realisation that with quite a small input, things could be greatly improved as that was my lived experience with one of our care homes.

How did you find out about the South London Small Grants?
The Small Grants was suggested to us through an email from the Institute of Integrated Care. This was sent directly to the Bexley CEPN and very quickly the CEPN liaised with the integrated commissioning and prescribing teams in the CCG to discuss ideas for a discrete project.

What progress have you made on the project?
The project is progressing to plan. The clinicians were all really professional in producing and filming their parts with support from the CCG. The videos are currently being edited. I think it’s been a really positive collaborative effort from the CCG, CEPN and clinicians in practice.

If you were to live the ‘Small Grants’ experience again, what would you do differently?
At present, the engagement with the pilot care homes has been positive. However, due to high staff turnover in care homes, the engagement process may need to be repeated several times with help from the GPs in practice. This is something worth bearing in mind for future initiatives.