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

Company news Partnerships, Quality & governance, Awards & accreditations 25th Mar 2022

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.


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.

“Acute trusts don’t have the resource, infrastructure, we don’t have the ability set up a new service. We struggle to attract a flexible workforce. Our bank is saturated, we have the wrong skillset, and pressure points like winter, half term, school holidays. With HomeLink I am buying a service and they always deliver.”  

NHS partner feedback

“It means we have a trusted and experienced team supporting our elective patient pathway – this provides real peace of mind and their willingness to diversify and respond so quickly really has saved us from having to cancel operations so thank you HomeLink for stepping in and stepping up.”

Cursty Pepper, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“I’ve worked with a lot of providers and HomeLink Healthcare is a very professional organisation. Every member of my team has said how respectful and courteous the staff are. It has been a pleasure to work with partners who do exactly what they say they will.”

Jenny Ricketts, Director of Community Transformation, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

“HomeLink Healthcare liaise wit me regularly about patients that I have referred to them and are very prompt in their reply to questions or queries. Having them on board is a breath of fresh air.

Adeola Telesford, Highly Specialist Rehabilitation OT, Enabling Care Services, Lewisham

“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. We achieved a safe, responsive and flexible service which meant patients received the ongoing support they needed.

Kelly Hudson, Associate Director for Urgent & Emergency Care Improvement, SE London CCG

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