Photograph shows the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Care Team on a visit to Buurtzorg
From 1 June, a new approach to community nursing is being trialled in Tower Hamlets. The Neighbourhood Care Team will support people to:
- Recover from a health issue
- Gain stability and independence if they have a long term health condition
- Receive intensive support and end of life care
The team is unique in that the nurses have the freedom to plan their hours around the needs of the patient. They will have no boss - and will be a self managing team and determine their own schedules and rotas, and be responsible for their own costs and training.
The team will visit patients in Shadwell and Limehouse and be available seven days a week, 365 days a year, working from 8am in the morning to 8pm in the evening.
The Neighbourhood Care team approach is based on a home care model pioneered in Holland called the Buurtzorg approach which has received international recognition for delivering high quality care.
Health and social care organisations in the borough are looking at innovative ways of working together to make the most of the skills of staff to provide the right support and care to housebound patients.
The team consists of a core team of seven community nurses who will look after patients with nursing needs in their own home. They will bring in other healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, palliative care nurses, and other specialist health professionals when their expertise is needed.
Lead Nurse Caroline Ogunsola is excited about the launch of the new team. “This is a unique project which will be different to the traditional way housebound patients receive care. District nurses are knowledgeable and intuitive about the needs of patients. This is an opportunity to combine their autonomy and expertise to produce a more intimate and considered approach to care that makes patients feel safe.”
The nurses will provide direct nursing care and personal care such as wound management, medication management, symptom management and other specialist nursing interventions. They can advise on preventative strategies, and identify interventions and activities that will improve the psychological and physical wellbeing of the patient.
Research and Evaluation
Because this is a completely new way of looking after people at home, the views of patients and their families will be sought at the beginning of their contact with the service, midway through and afterwards when the patient is discharged from the service. This will help the Trust to compare this approach with the more usual model of community nursing taking place in the rest of the borough.
You can read more the Buurtzorg approach here