Shortlisted for a Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) award

South East London AHP TeamHomeLink Healthcare have been shortlisted for a Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) award for their work in partnership with Lewisham Adult Therapy Team (LATT). The service saw the waiting list of 203 reduce by 85 per cent to 30 in an 18-week period. Not only that, 69 per cent of patients were seen within three days and improved patient outcomes were seen across the board.  

In October 2021 Allied Health Professional (AHP) Leads from the South East London joined forces with AHP Leads from HomeLink Healthcare to provide a collaborative approach to addressing the increasing demands on the community physiotherapy service for patients residing in the South East London regions of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.  

The AHP Team drove innovation and change in the creation and implementation of a new pathway that addresses both the NHSE/I Long Term Plan and commitments to AHPs into Action. The results were increased physiotherapy capacity in the community; improved patient flow; and better patient outcomes and experience. 

The challenge 

The challenges identified by the AHP Team were as follows: 

  • The LATT therapy leads reported an increase in demand from referrals for patients requiring community physiotherapy.  
  • They cited workforce concerns preventing them from meeting their referral demands along with an increase in the use of agency staff thereby driving up costs and potentially reducing quality and effectiveness. 
  • LATT were experiencing an increase in staff burn out, sickness and challenges balancing annual leave and staff training. 
  • LATT reported a waiting list of 203 patients, with patients waiting more than six months for a therapy review. 
  • Concerns were raised that patients were being admitted to hospital on account of not receiving timely physiotherapy support to maintain them safely in their own homes. 
  • The patient experience was poor due to increased waiting times for therapy input. 

Aims, outcomes, and ways of working to overcome potential barriers 

Aims 

AHP-logoA set of SMART aims for the pathway were co-created to improve patient flow and physiotherapy capacity for patients living in the Lambeth, Southwark and  Lewisham localities. 

  • Provide a responsive physiotherapy service that delivers efficient and effective  patient centred physiotherapy treatments to maintain them safely at home. 
  • Reduce waiting list of community physiotherapy. Prior to the service, 203 patients were awaiting therapy. 
  • Improve patient outcomes by increasing mobility and functional independence. There were no standard clinical outcomes in circulation. 

Outcomes 

  • A shared vision of quality improvement across all pathways made it possible to mobilise the pathway in just 4 weeks.
  • 69 percent* of patients were able to be seen within three days of (non-urgent) referral (*based on patient choice). 
  • The waiting list was reduced by 85.2% to just 30 patients in just 18 weeks. 
  • Positive outcomes in mBarthel and EQ-5D-5L measures.   
    • mBarthel increased from 76.5 to 87 
    • Self-reported health state (VAS) increased from 54.4 to 67.6 
    • Self-reported EQ-5D-5L figures improved in all dimensions (note a decreasing score is an improvement) 

EQ 5D 5L

  • Quality improvement was delivered and measured with data regularly shared by the AHP Team to support wider MDT collaboration. These outcome measures are now adopted as standard within SEL.  
  • As a result of shared learnings 4x as many patients are benefitting from the new pathway in South East London. 
  • The service has spread across the System. From Lambeth and Southwark, the model has been reused in Lewisham, Bromley and Woolwich with learnings shared in other ICSs. 

How did we do this?

  • AHPs worked collaboratively. Regular review meetings were held to ensure quality and safety. 
  • An operational manual was co-produced with wider MDT to ensure effective and efficient governance. 
  • We agreed patient specific outcome measures in order demonstrate quality improvements. 
  • Wider system partners were involved in order to increase shared learning practices and collaboration to safely deliver 240 visits per week 

Transferable lessons learned:

  • Workforce retention and recruitment strategies are essential to ensure longevity to new services. This pathway enabled a 66% increase in capacity for staffing which allowed teams to take annual leave and manage COVID-19 isolations whilst providing continuation of care to patients.  
  • Involving Consultant bodies and wider system partners from the outset is essential to optimise referral and discharge processes. 
  • Being comfortable having open and honest conversations with colleagues for the benefit of the patient has enabled improved outcomes. 
  • Regular knowledge-sharing and reporting are vital for optimising patient outcomes. 
  • Ensure the whole AHP/MDT team is involved in the journey, so the service is driven by those who deliver it. Recognising the value of different knowledge and skills that staff of all levels can add. 

Adeola Telesford, Highly Specialist Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist from Enabling Services, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust commented:

“I am truly pleased with the professional relationship/rapport we have built because it has enhanced our regular verbal and written feedback on cases.

I am particularly pleased by the fact your service has been able to visit patients in a timely manner (within 24-48hours of receiving the referral) and to carry out pre-planned joint visits with me. Timely intervention, which I have found with a number of cases, made a significant positive impact on the SMART goals that were set for each patient.

It was refreshing if not amazing to see how the combined intervention of PT and OT input complimented each other. Your service input proves the validity in having PT and OT working alongside each other in a service of this nature when working towards a time frame of maximum 6 week interventions. I look forward to continued working with you”.

CFO wins Home Healthcare CFO of the Year Award


Simon Walters
We are delighted to announce that our CFO, Simon Walters, has won Home Healthcare CFO of the Year in the prestigious Global CFO Excellence Awards 2023 organised by Acquisition International.

Acquisition International launched in 2010, and has, over the years, evolved into a business title that professionals rely on to bring them the business knowledge, insight and news they need.

Every CFO carries the weight of a business’s wellbeing. This recognition demonstrates and celebrates Simon’s pivotal role and dedication to HomeLink Healthcare’s financial management capabilities. It serves as a testament to our solid growth, rooted in meticulous financial management and long-sighted planning skills.

“Simon always exemplifies exceptional financial leadership and is a valued member of the HomeLink Senior Leadership Team” said Jill Ireland, CEO and Clinical Director at HomeLink Healthcare. “Congratulations Simon on this well-deserved accomplishment!”

Simon commented: “It is a privilege to be recognised in this way, and is a tribute to my exceptional team, esteemed colleagues, and dedicated Board members. Without their unwavering support, this achievement would not have been possible. I eagerly look forward to continuing our pursuit of excellence together.CFO of the Year Trophy

“Congratulations to all the winners!”

Awards Co-ordinator Victoria Cotton commented on the success of this year’s winners: “I am pleased to have worked with individuals who consistently strive to keep their business strong, influence their industries, and ensure elevated products and projects are delivered on time. I wish you all the best for the years to come.”

Delivering high-quality medical and care services to NHS patients in the comfort of their own homes, HomeLink Healthcare is a clinician-led specialist hospital-at-home service provider that values the wellbeing of its patients and the stability of the NHS. In his role as CFO, Simon Walters brings a wealth of experience to HomeLink Healthcare. Read more from Acquisition International as they delve into how he does it.

Read the full article here.

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) framework agreement renewal enables direct commissioning of Hospital at Home services

We are pleased to announce we have been reappointed as a supplier on NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds Services Framework Agreement. NHS partners can procure services with HomeLink Healthcare directly via the framework agreement.

 

New NHS SBS Framework Agreement

About the framework agreement

This NHS SBS framework agreement has been developed to reduce the demand on NHS Trusts by supporting with their adult patient discharge pathways. The framework agreement aims to:

  • facilitate transfer of patients from hospital beds to a more appropriate level of care
  • supply additional bed capacity within the NHS urgent care system infrastructure by relieving bed pressures within the local health economy
  • discharge patients meeting specific clinical criteria into an appropriate care setting, reducing instances of re-admission to hospital
  • allow patients to have personalised on-to-one support maintaining continuity of care
  • provide a dedicated pathway to hospital discharge management services.

HomeLink Healthcare is a supplier on the following Lots:

  • Lot 1: Discharge to Assess Services: facilitates patient discharge not only from emergency departments but also from the wider acute hospital and community care settings.
  • Lot 3: Virtual Ward Support Services: supplies a “secondary care” service within a patients care setting for up to 6 weeks. Patients are transferred to the Virtual Ward Support Service following referral from the Trusts’ clinical discharge teams on acceptance by service leads.

“Free to access, our ‘Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds Services framework agreement is designed to support the transition of patients from hospital, reducing instances of pressure on acute hospital beds, Social Services and re-admissions. In turn, this enables health and care providers to free up capacity to deal with other patients. improve quality of care and health outcomes.” Elaine Alsop, Head of Category – Health, at NHS SBS.

Avoid delays and contract with us directly

NHS partners can use the NHS SBS Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds Services framework agreement to directly award contracts to HomeLink Healthcare, saving time and money on the procurement process.

New services can be mobilised in 8-12 weeks. Act now to get a new service up and running within three months and at full capacity within around four months.

  1. Develop specification, business case, contracting options and supplier engagement: now!
  2. Contracting: one week
  3. Service mobilisation: twelve weeks
  4. Go live!
  5. Ramp up to full capacity: six weeks

Work with us

HomeLink Healthcare has been delivering Hospital at Home services since 2016. As a supplier to NHS SBS’s new framework agreement and its previous iteration which ran for four years from March 2019,  it has been used to procure a wide variety of pathways from a large number of organisations including Trusts and the Community Services.

Find out more about the process of commissioning HomeLink Healthcare to set up a hospital at home service.

Get in touch

To speak to a member of our team about our services, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us. You can tell us about your situation, and we can tell you more about our experience of supporting our NHS partners and how we might be able to help you.

 

HomeLink Healthcare wins Prestige Award

In March 2023 we received great news that we had won a Prestige Award in the category: Home Care Provider of the Year – London & the South East.  

The Prestige Awards have been running for the past 16 years and each year they recognise small and medium-sized businesses that have proven to be the best in their market over the previous 12 months.

The Prestige Awards team conduct extensive research into all nominees for their awards programme. As a shortlisted company we were asked to support our nomination with evidence of our work, positive feedback from their clients, information on accreditations and recognition as-well-as highlighting the most outstanding parts of our businesses. 

The judging panel based their decisions upon criteria such as service excellence, quality of the service provided, innovative practices, ethical and sustainable ways of working as well as consistency in performance. We were selected as winners due to our ability to best demonstrate strengths in these areas. 

More information about the Prestige Awards can be found here. 

Shortlisted for the HSJ Partnership Awards for the third time

HomeLink Healthcare is delighted to announce that for the third time we have been shortlisted for an HSJ Partnership Award in the ”Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS” category.

Following being shortlisted in 2020 and 2022, this year it is our Hospital at Home partnership with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) and NHS Trusts across Norfolk and Waveney ICS that has been shortlisted.

The national health and care sectors have faced innumerable pressures over the past 12 months. At the same time the standard and overriding positivity of the partnerships this year across Norfolk and Waveney highlight an enduring dedication to improving patient outcomes.

Being shortlisted for a HSJ Partnership Award shows confidence in this worthwhile project. It ensures that the team’s efforts and relentless work to improve the lives of our patients is nationally recognised.

The HSJ Partnership Awards recognise and honour the most effective partnerships, innovative projects and collaborations in the UK health system. This prestigious award programme, now in its sixth year, is not just a celebration of success stories but also a platform to shape the future of our new integrated health and care system.

Designed by NHS Trusts, NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB and HomeLink Healthcare, our project was a testbed for Norfolk and Waveney ICS and independent sector collaboration. The project was set up to respond to exceptional capacity challenges and we have analysed how this approach could be used across the ICS footprint and beyond.

24,000 bed days have been saved at 45% of the equivalent inpatient cost.

The virtual ward and early supported discharge services being provided are enabled by technology. They are rated as excellent by patients and provided measurable system benefits. The partnership has been deemed a success and the scope and scale have been extended. The project now frees up the equivalent of two hospital wards every day.

The award judging panel comprised a diverse range of highly regarded figures across the NHS and wider healthcare sector. HomeLink Healthcare and our multiple partners across Norfolk and Waveney are delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist, despite tough competition from a pool of brilliant applications

The Hospital at Home partnership has been selected based on our combined diligence, ambition, and the positive impact that the project has had on both practitioners and patients within the health care industry.

Our partners on this project include Norfolk and Waveney ICS, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Frankie Swords, Medical Director, NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said:

“I am thrilled that this dynamic and innovative partnership has been recognised nationally as part of the 2023 HSJ Partnership Awards.

“The virtual wards in Norfolk and Waveney are going from strength to strength. Being able to provide effective and safe care virtually means we can not only discharge patients in a more timely way, it also supports their onward recovery journey, enabling people to recover in a more familiar setting to them, suited to their individual needs. I wish the partnership every success at the awards ceremony and look forward to this work developing even further.”

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan comments:

“We would like to congratulate HomeLink Healthcare on being nominated in the category of Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS ahead of HSJ Partnership Awards 2023. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the ceremony in March, to join us in recognising the very best collaborations and innovations in the healthcare sector. This year’s finalists are of an outstanding calibre and all of them are exceptionally dedicated to enhancing healthcare across the UK.”

The winners will be selected following a rigorous judging stage ahead of the HSJ Partnership Awards 2023 awards ceremony. The awards evening is expected to be attended by national healthcare leaders and professionals from both the NHS and private sector as well as figures from non-clinical backgrounds to celebrate innovation and collaboration in healthcare.

The selected winners will be announced during a private ceremony at Evolution London, on 23 March 2023. We wish the best of luck to all those involved!

Finalists for Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS at HSJ Awards

NHS care at home project earns coveted award

Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHSHomeLink Healthcare are delighted to announce that we were shortlisted as finalists at the prestigious Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS at the HSJ Partnership Awards at the Park Plaza, London.

We were up against some strong competition in this category, and we demonstrated that we delivered clear, and tangible financial benefits for the Trust, whilst providing significant patient outcomes very quickly due to the collaborative nature of our partnership with NHS teams.

So, how did we do it?

The challenge

COVID-19 caused pressures on the NHS, the likes of which had never been seen before.
To prevent delays in critical assessment and to ensure the safety of patients, many NHS Trusts and CCGs followed NHS England guidance to work with independent providers for additional support.

South East London CCG found HomeLink Healthcare through the National Framework of trusted providers, and formed a like-minded partnership, along with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust.

The solution

Project aims: To support community services severely impacted by COVID-19; increase capacity and reduce the strain on existing teams.

Working in partnership the teams from HomeLink Healthcare, the CCG and the Trusts devised and implemented a, ‘Care at Home’ pilot project that would support both NHS staff and patients. The size and scope of this project was unprecedented, but with HomeLink’s experience and dedicated teams, a clear communication plan, and a structured approach the project was swiftly mobilised in just four weeks.

Patients were discharged from the service four days earlier than predicted.

With HomeLink’s help, NHS capacity was bolstered by home visits, providing continuation of quality care for patients across the community. HomeLink was able to bridge the gap that had begun to form between Intermediate Care Teams and Community Teams due to the immense and growing pressures faced by each.

The pilot project carried out by HomeLink Healthcare and NHS partners in South East London was deemed so successful it was subsequently rolled out as a full service across three boroughs.

The results

As a result of the collaboration, intermediate care therapy patients were discharged from the service four days earlier than predicted. This had significant cost savings, provided bed days saved for redeployment, cut staffing cost and time, and moreover saw excellent patient outcomes.

Patients were treated and re-enabled at home, which increased independence and reduced the likelihood of ongoing problems or readmittance, thereby freeing up additional NHS resources further down the line.

The valuable extra support during this unprecedented challenge for the NHS eased immediate pressures so community nursing staff could rest and complete annual training, safe in the knowledge that their patients were being well cared for.

Feedback on the service was overwhelmingly positive with the service rated “excellent” by patients.

The collaborative care at home pilot had such impact that HomeLink were shortlisted as finalists for ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS’ at the prestigious HSJ Partnership Awards.

The success of the service was determined through KPIs and positive outcome measures.

Stakeholder feedback reaffirmed that the service was implemented at pace and brought optimism and confidence that working with an independent provider such as HomeLink Healthcare could provide high-quality home-based care while increasing capacity and improving hospital flow. 

The nature of HomeLink’s streamlined service meant it could be implemented quickly, and swiftly provide real tangible benefits for NHS partners. HomeLink Healthcare is committed to working diligently and collaboratively as an extension of NHS services.

Amanda Lloyd, System Transformation and Change Lead, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“We recognised we had a window of opportunity to put something in place that would support both our front-line teams and our patients without delaying discharges from our busy acute hospital sites. I am proud that we achieved a safe, responsive and flexible service which meant patients received the ongoing support they needed, and staff felt able to regain some work-life balance after the efforts that Covid-19 had required.”

Jill Ireland, HomeLink Healthcare’s Chief Executive and Clinical Director said:

“The pilot service was so successful that it was commissioned as a full service and subsequently extended across neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, helping address inequalities in access to care in these areas.”

“The approach was designed to be flexible and agile so it could evolve throughout the duration of the project. With a ‘test, learn, develop’ ethos, future requirements and resources could be predicted and managed in line with learnings from the initial six weeks.”

“At the heart of the service was the co-creation of the clinical pathways between HomeLink Healthcare and NHS Partners. These were designed to meet patient’s community nursing and therapy needs, reduce waiting times for out of hospital care. The clinical pathways were underpinned by robust governance and escalation process. The success of the service was determined through KPIs and positive outcome measures. These ensured that not only patient care was delivered safely and effectively, but that they were also cost effective.”

“I’m very proud that we were able to contribute to, partner with and provide additional capacity for the NHS at such a particularly critical time.  We hope that by sharing the learnings from the partnership, other services, such as these can be commissioned in other localities for patient benefit.”

“Being shortlisted as a finalist for ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS’ at the HSJ Partnership Awards is the icing on the cake. A testament to the hard work and collaboration of the whole team and an accolade of which we are very proud.”

Communication was key to successful collaboration, increasing NHS capacity and improving hospital flow.

HomeLink has the time and capacity to spend quality time with patients and deliver thoroughly holistic care.

99% of patients said they would recommend the service to friends and family.

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Find out more about the process of commissioning HomeLink Healthcare.

Get in touch

To speak to a member of our team about hospital at home services, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us. You can tell us about your situation, and we can tell you more about our experience of hospital at home and how we might be able to help you.

ISO 9001 annual recertification passed with flying colours

BSI Assurance MarkAt HomeLink Healthcare we are meticulous about quality assurance, it’s essential when you provide clinical care services to NHS patients in their homes. However, our focus on standards goes beyond those required by the CQC (Care Quality Commission).

That’s why we are pleased to announce that we have passed our annual recertification of ISO 9001, particularly as our assessor from the British Standards Institute did not make any recommendations for improvement, a rare event.

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised quality management system that monitors and manages quality across an organisation and helps identify opportunities for improvement. The standard covers a wide range of topics including:

There were no recommendations for improvement in HomeLink Healthcare's quality standards - which is a rare event!

  • Quality Policy
  • Risk Management
  • Continuous Improvement Opportunities
  • Change Management
  • Communication
  • Managing of supply chain
  • Service Performance
  • Customer Satisfaction

For us, the recertification is not a once a year audit process but the opportunity to demonstrate how we have adopted the ISO9001 standard to identify and pursue opportunities to improve how HomeLink delivers its services to patients and to maintain safe, efficient and effective back-office systems.

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Work with us

Find out more about the process of commissioning HomeLink Healthcare to set up a Hospital at Home service.

Get in touch

To speak to a member of our team about our Hospital at Home services, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us. You can tell us about your situation, and we can tell you more about our experience and how we might be able to help you.

HomeLink Healthcare renews important cyber security standard, Cyber Essentials Plus

We understand the importance of protecting our IT systems from cyber-attack and are committed to securing our systems in line with the National Cyber Security Centre’s guidelines.

We have taken steps to guard against the most common cyber-security threats including:

  • Securing connectivity
  • Ensuring our devices and software remain secure
  • Controlling access to data and services
  • Protecting systems from viruses and other malware
  • Keeping our devices and software up to date

Ensuring our devices and software remain secure

To demonstrate our commitment to this, we are proud to announce our certification in Cyber Essentials Plus. This means our Cyber Security measures have been independently verified by security experts and recognised by the IASME certification body.

Got a question? Contact us on (020) 3137 5370

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