Her Majesty's Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage paid a visit to the Trust's Newham Community Health services at the East Ham Care Centre in Shrewsbury Road on Wednesday 21 November.
She was given a tour by the Trust's Chair Marie Gabriel, Newham's Community Service Director Michael McGhee and Deputy Director Helen Green.
The visit started with Michael McGhee giving an overview of the different services the Minister had come to see in action. Michael explained how the key to successful delivery of Community Services in Newham is the integration of new technology to allow for speedy interventions by staff, which prevents service users having to rely on acute service provision and A&E.
He described how the development of mobile working allows community nurses to communicate efficiently with GPs, and how the technology can allow staff more control over their time. Another key component to the Newham Community Services strategy is the work they do with the homeless. Michael explained how this hard to reach group have many barriers to overcome in terms of accessing health care, so in order to make sure that the care that is provided really has an effect, community nurses work hard to allocate more time for them in appointments. Advances in applying technology allow this to happen.
Lead Occupational Therapist Gaurav Singh explained to the Minister how the mobile EMIS system works to alleviate pressure on staff. Gaurav said that the Trust's IT and Systems service had been instrumental in making sure the technology was integrated well into staff's everyday routines. 'The Trust IT team were brilliant in supporting this,' said Gaurav.
Next stop for the Minister was to meet Newham's Clinical and Service lead Raguraman Padmanabhan, described by his colleagues as a pioneer in terms of overseeing the roll-out of the Trust's Telehealth system - another application of new technology which allows service users to take responsibility for monitoring their own health and supporting preventative strategies in health care.
Newham's Rapid Response Operational Manager Daniel Franey described to the Minister how the innovations made in his service also alleviated pressure on acute services elsewhere in the borough, with over 1800 referrals made to his service so far in 2018. The Minister for Care said this was ‘a remarkable achievement.’
Summing up her impressions of the work done by Newham Community Services to embed strategies to prevent ill-health in our community, the Minister of State for Care said: ‘I have met with some outstanding teams here today and the work they are doing is truly beneficial, it has real impact on people’s lives. It is clear that people are treated with care in Newham, and that care is incredibly well organised. We are committed to adding at least an extra five years to people’s lives and the work being done here at the East London Foundation Trust is helping to make that happen.’