Greener AHP week 2023

Greener AHP week

Greener AHP weekGreener AHP (Allied Health Professionals) week, 17th – 24th April 2023, hosted by NHS England, gave us the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the achievements of AHPs in making healthcare more environmentally sustainable.

A lot of AHP practice is preventative, but it also tends to be high-value, person-centred care focused on enablement, meeting patients’ own goals and building their resilience to future acute episodes, for example: falls prevention, signposting, etc.

We know early mobilisation of patients prevents complications, uses fewer hospital resources and helps people get home sooner. We celebrated Greener AHP week by inspiring and encouraging new ideas about how we can become even more sustainable in our practices.

In the below video Stu Southgate, an AHP and our Commercial Lead for Midlands and the North, discusses what AHP week means to him:

HomeLink Healthcare’s commitment to sustainability

HomeLink Healthcare is a member of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) Climate Change Group and is committed to being net zero carbon emissions for scope 1 and 2 by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions for supply chain by 2045.

We are in the process of becoming ISO 14001 certified and have an Environmental Policy and relevant procedures in place to attain this certification.

Here are some of the sustainable practices we already follow at HomeLink Healthcare and actions we have taken to reduce carbon emissions:

  • Our therapy staff in London utilise public transport and therefore already work in a low-carbon, sustainable model of care.
  • We offer remote physiotherapy sessions.
  • Our therapists draw on assets outside the healthcare system, such as family relationships, local spaces and community groups. Often undertaking Physiotherapy to support patients to access local gardens and public transport.
  • Our AHPs work in an integrated system, linking in with multi-agencies to ensure that patients receive timely medical and social input to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
  • Walking aids – working in patients homes our staff can identify when equipment can be safely removed and reused.
  • We know care needs change when at home, our staff can support to prevent over prescription of equipment.
  • When HomeLink Healthcare AHPs are in patients’ homes we ensure they are able to access adequate and appropriate nutrition and hydration which will help to prevent ill health and add life to years not just years to life.
  • Our AHPs can support patients post-surgery with early supported discharge.
  • Our AHPs can also work with patients pre-operatively to maximise nutrition and increase global strength to improve outcomes.
  • HomeLink Healthcare has planted over 150 trees in recognition of their contributions to the business and for improving our sustainability.
  • We are working towards a ‘paper free’ company to reduce its inherent environmental impacts– currently we are 90% paper free.
  • We purchase bio-degradable PPE aprons for use in the delivery of our services.
  • HomeLink Healthcare has introduced mandatory training on Environmental Sustainability Healthcare.
  • Over 95% of all internal and client meetings are held virtually.
  • Public transport is the ‘automatic choice’ for all corporate travel.
  • Rail is used in place of air-travel for all long-distance travel.
  • An incentive scheme is being developed to encourage community-based care teams to use electric vehicles.
  • Smart routing (backed by Google technology) for our community teams ensures that travel between patients is minimised.
  • Our major suppliers are asked to report on their environmental policy as part of their annual re-evaluation.
  • HomeLink Healthcare IT systems are cloud based which will be 100% renewable energy powered by 2025, water positive by 2030 and zero waste by 2030.

All staff are given the opportunity to feedback and suggest new and innovative ways for HomeLink Healthcare to improve sustainability via an internal ‘Opportunities and Change Request’ process.

View and share our Greener AHP week social media updates on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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. 

Recruitment in Norfolk

Award-winning hospital at home service provider is looking for Nurses, Physiotherapists and  Healthcare Support Workers in Norfolk.  

– Do you want to work for an award winning, clinically led, patient-centric organisation?

– Do you want to feel truly valued in your work?

– Do you want to spend quality time with patients and make a real difference?  

At HomeLink Healthcare we offer the above and much more! Find out more below and join us at one of our recruitment events in Kings Lynn on Friday 24th March or Norwich on Thursday 30th March.  

Who are HomeLink Healthcare? 

HomeLink Healthcare is an award-winning provider of Hospital at Home services. Our teams deliver multi-disciplinary care to people in their own homes.  We believe that every patient should have the choice to be treated in their own home, rather than in hospital when it is clinically safe to do so.  

Our work in partnership with the NHS increases hospital capacity, improves patient flow, reduces delayed discharges and delivers great patient outcomes.   

We’ve been delivering Hospital at Home pathways across Norfolk and Waveney since 2016.  

  • 98% of patients would highly recommend us. 
  • 100% NHS partner satisfaction (responses between July 2022 & Jan 2023). 
  •  Our work across Norfolk and Waveney has been shortlisted for a 2023 HSJ Partnership Award.  

Why our staff want to work for HomeLink Healthcare 

"It is the best place I have ever worked"
- Elaine, Community Nurse

We have worked hard to develop an open and welcoming culture where everyone is valued and rewarded for the part they play in delivering high quality patient care.  

  • We had 98% staff retention between 2021 and 2022. 
  • We have 86% staff satisfaction compared to 76% in other organisations (Happiness Index 2022).
  • A minimum of 45 minutes with the patient on each visit with an average of 5 visits per shift. 
  • We welcome flexible working. 
  • We encourage career development and rotation between different services. 

We’re hiring: join our team! 

"It is all about quality rather than quantity of work"
- Michele, Healthcare Assistant

We are looking for exceptional clinical staff to join our growing team. We know that the quality, compassion and commitment of our teams is essential to delivering high-quality care and producing excellent patient outcomes. Whether you are a Nurse, a Physiotherapist or a Healthcare Support Worker, if you work with us you will be giving people exceptional clinical care at home. 

Attend one of our recruitment events 

  • King’s Lynn: Friday 24th March

Drop in at any time between 1.30 and 7pm at The Globe Hotel, Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, PE30 1EZ.

  • Norwich: Thursday 30th March

Drop in at any time between 1.30 and 7pm at The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF.

Can’t attend our event? View our job advertisements and apply directly 

"We value honesty, trust and transparency. Our staff really feel this"
- April, Head of Clinical & Operational Services

Job advertisement can be found here:  

Alternatively you can email us with your enquiry at careers@homelinkhealthcare.co.uk 

Or  

Please call our Clinical Recruiter, Gretchen Lister-McWilliam, on 07399 550249 for an informal discussion to find out more  

Tell your friends and colleagues 

If you have any friends or colleagues that you think may be interested in working for HomeLink Healthcare please share this page with them!  

Recruitment in High Wycombe and Slough

HomeLink Healthcare, the specialist Hospital at Home service provider, is looking for Nurses and Healthcare Support Workers in High Wycombe, Slough and surrounding areas to join our team.

– Do you want to work for a clinically-led, patient-centric organisation?

– Do you want to feel truly valued in your work?

– Do you want to spend quality time with patients and make a real difference?  

At HomeLink Healthcare we offer the above and much more! Find out more below and join us at one of our recruitment events in in High Wycombe and Slough on 5th and 6th June.

Who are HomeLink Healthcare? 

HomeLink Healthcare is a specialist provider of Hospital at Home services. Our teams deliver multi-disciplinary care to people in their own homes.  We believe that every patient should have the choice to be treated in their own home, rather than in hospital when it is clinically safe to do so.  

Our work in partnership with the NHS increases hospital capacity, improves patient flow, reduces delayed discharges and delivers great patient outcomes.   

We’ve been delivering Hospital at Home and virtual ward services in since 2016 and now work across the country.

  • 98% of patients would highly recommend us.
  • 100% NHS partner satisfaction (2022-2023).
  • We have a CQC rating of Good.

Why our staff want to work for HomeLink Healthcare 

"It is the best place I have ever worked"
- Elaine, Community Nurse

We have worked hard to develop an open and welcoming culture where everyone is valued and rewarded for the part they play in delivering high quality patient care.  

  • We had 98% staff retention between 2021 and 2022. 
  • We have 86% staff satisfaction compared to 76% in other organisations (Happiness Index 2022).
  • A minimum of 45 minutes with the patient on each visit with an average of 5 visits per shift. 
  • We welcome flexible working. 
  • We encourage career development and rotation between different services. 

We’re hiring: join our team! 

"It is all about quality rather than quantity of work"
- Michele, Healthcare Assistant

We are looking for exceptional clinical staff to join our growing team. We know that the quality, compassion and commitment of our teams is essential to delivering high-quality care and producing excellent patient outcomes. Whether you are a Nurse or a Healthcare Support Worker, if you work with us you will be giving people exceptional clinical care at home. 

Attend one of our recruitment events at the following venues, dates and times:

Can’t attend our event? View our job advertisements and apply directly 

"We value honesty, trust and transparency. Our staff really feel this"
- April, Head of Clinical & Operational Services

Job advertisement can be found here:  

Alternatively you can email us with your enquiry at careers@homelinkhealthcare.co.uk 

Or  

Please call our Clinical Recruiter, Gretchen Lister-McWilliam, on 07399 550249 for an informal discussion to find out more  

Tell your friends and colleagues 

If you have any friends or colleagues that you think may be interested in working for HomeLink Healthcare please share this page with them!  

Collaboration with four NHS organisations frees up two hospital wards every day

HomeLink Healthcare has been working across Norfolk & Waveney ICS alongside multiple NHS organisations to respond to exceptional capacity challenges.

"HomeLink gave us the ability to quickly respond to demand, flex up and down, and were invaluable in enabling us to meet varying complexity of needs”
- NHS Trust Chief Operating Officer

The partnership began in 2019 with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH). Today we also work with James Paget University Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn, and Norfolk & Waveney ICB.

Hospital at Home services are delivered through a number of pathways: Virtual Wards, Reablement, Early Supported Discharge, and Discharge to Assess. Some pathways include patient monitoring. We also provide Bridging
Packages of Care.

This testbed for pan-ICS work in collaboration with an independent sector provider has been very successful. Services are rated excellent by patients, provide measurable system benefits and improved patient outcomes. Services are also delivered at 45% of the equivalent in-patient cost.

The scope and scale of the collaboration continues to expand across the ICS. Findings have been shared and used to inform models of care and to support delivery of NHS strategy and plans.

Setting the scene

"HomeLink Healthcare has an ongoing flexible collaborative approach; high-quality service provision with robust governance and transparent data and reporting”
- NHS Trust feedback

The Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) covers a largely rural area in the East of England.

The widely dispersed population and long travel times, on mainly country roads, creates challenges in providing consistent community and home-based care.

In addition, the relatively isolated location makes it hard to attract and retain sufficient numbers of community nurses, physiotherapists and healthcare assistants.

Gaps in access to community care led to delays in discharging patients from hospital, with the inevitable impact on emergency admissions and electives.

In 2019 it was decided to engage with a specialist Hospital at Home service provider, HomeLink Healthcare, to provide pathways for patients who had no need to remain in hospital.

In common with many systems, NNUH faced a longstanding need to create additional acute capacity that became more severe in 2020.

The benefits of the new services were closely monitored.

Key achievements

• A unique pan-ICS collaboration with the independent sector

• The partnership has saved 45,000 bed days (Jan 19 – Apr 23)

• Services were delivered at 45% of the in-patient cost (James Paget University Hospital, Jan 21- Aug 22)

• 17% improvement in self-reported clinical outcome measures (EQ-5D-5L Jan 19 – Feb 23)

• Today the service frees up the equivalent of two hospital wards every day (56 hospital beds)

• Over 99% of patients would highly recommend us (patients scoring us 8+ out of 10)

• Findings have been shared across the ICS and with NHS England

• The partnership was shortlisted for an HSJ partnership award in 2023

The collaborative approach

Initially, a ‘test and learn’ pilot was conducted at NNUH with the financial, patient and system benefits evaluation leading to conversations across the other acute hospitals, community providers, and Norfolk & Waveney ICS.

A Virtual Ward was developed at NNUH in 2019 and findings were used to improve subsequent service development.

Since 2020, we have worked with a team from the Trusts and ICB to design and create additional Hospital at Home services including treating patients with more complex needs. We have also provided short term wrap-around support to frail patients, to reduce hospital attendance, and to support independence. Taking a safety-first approach, we ensure that governance is paramount and that KPIs are built into the system.

Services were rapidly prototyped, evaluated and rolled out, using technology as an enabler where appropriate. A comprehensive suite of KPIs was implemented and real-time data allows the system to identify best practice quickly and apply this across the ICS.

HomeLink Healthcare provided a flexible regional workforce with a good understanding of the local geography. We worked with our NHS colleagues as one team and acted as a force multiplier in a hard-to-recruit region. The result was that capacity was always maintained and inequality in access to care was reduced.

Patients rate the service as ‘excellent’, and outcomes have been impressive. We use the EQ-5D-5L ‘self-reported clinical outcome measurement‘. We saw an average improvement of 17% between January 2019 and May 2023. Patients also demonstrated a positive improvement in the following five domains: mobility; self-care; usual activities; pain/discomfort; and anxiety and depression. We use an ongoing flexible ‘test and learn’ approach which ensures robust governance and continual service improvement. Operations manuals were co-designed specifically for each service and reduced service duplication saves the NHS time and money. New services can now be mobilised within as little as four weeks.

System benefits & the future

As four NHS organisations and an independent provider, we were combined early adopters of Hospital at Home services. We have worked from the start to share benefits across the ICS. The collaboration has shown how pan-ICS contracting results in better value for the NHS and an excellent patient experience and outcomes.

The scope and scale of the collaboration continues to expand across the ICS. Findings have been shared with NHS England, and Virtual Ward models align with and support NHS strategy and plans.

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 and how we might be able to help you. 

Joined-up work demonstrates compassion and helps avoid two hospital admissions

HomeLink Healthcare accommodated a couple’s return to their own property following a hospital stay. Whilst providing a package of care for both parties, and IV treatment for the wife, we supported the couple through multiple additional issues which were not initially identified.

Whilst the multi-disciplinary team were constructing a longer-term plan, the HomeLink team recognised where and how the couple were struggling and prevented two hospital re-admissions.   

Aneta, who is her husband Jim’s main carer had been in James Paget University Hospital receiving treatment for an infection and fatigue. When Jim and Aneta were discharged from hospital on 30th October 2023, HomeLink Healthcare were asked to provide Aneta with a once-a-day package of care as well as IV therapy for six weeks. Jim also required a twice-a-day package of care. 

On the first visit HomeLink staff identified that both patients were struggling being at home and that Aneta had pain that was poorly controlled. Aneta’s pain was distressing Jim, which in turn upset his wife. The situation required more input that first expected.  

On 2nd November the couple were waiting social worker allocation and a concern with safeguarding was also raised.  The visiting HomeLink nurse went to the patient’s medical practice, raised concerns with the GP and organised a complex needs assessment joint visit with the GP for both parties, concentrating on pain management for Aneta. HomeLink staff stayed for longer than the allotted time with the couple offering support, caring and liaising with the multi-disciplinary team to resolve the concerns. It was decided that extra visits would be allocated to the patients to ensure they were safe and supported. 

On 3rd November Aneta had developed a urinary retention due to the pain and required re-catheterisation by the community nurses.  The medical consultant at James Paget University Hospital asked for our team to continue to monitor for mobility decline. An urgent MRI was booked.  

On 10th November following daily contact with visiting staff, the HomeLink Clinical Lead visited the patients at home with their GP and Social Worker.  Aneta’s pain management was reviewed and changed to a transdermal pain patch. The Social Worker suggested the use of respite care for the couple to allow the wife to recuperate whilst not needing to care for her husband.  

HomeLink continued to support the couple until respite care was sourced, reducing the number of visits required over time.  

This story demonstrates HomeLink Healthcare’s commitment to providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service. The staff involved demonstrated our values of Compassion; Commitment to Quality Care and Collaboration. It also shows how providing excellent multi-disciplinary support through one provider enhances the patient experience and provides system benefits to the NHS through admission avoidance which in turn improves hospital flow and saves the NHS money. 

Find out more about the features of a HomeLink Healthcare 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 and how we might be able to help you. 

2023 staff survey delivers excellent results with 84% staff engagement

Our 2023 staff survey showed an average staff engagement level of 84%. This is 6% higher than all organisations using the same index and 15% higher than NHS staff’s ‘enthusiasm about their job’ in 2022. 

HomeLink Healthcare use the Happiness Index to measure staff happiness and engagement. A part of this involves sending a detailed survey out to all staff members once a year. The results of our 2023 survey staff were excellent, with a score of 8.5 (85 percent) for ‘happiness’ and 8.4 (84 percent) for engagement.  

 At HomeLink Healthcare we live by our values: Compassion, Commitment to Quality Care, and Collaboration. We understand that having an engaged workforce is fundamental to delivering on these values, providing a positive patient experience and satisfying our clients.   

The word cloud below shows the words that were most frequently used in staff feedback.  

The Happiness Index is used by organisations across a wide range of sectors. Our average score is 6 percentage points above the average of all organisations using the index (7.8 or 78 percent).  

The table below is from the NHS Staff Survey  and shows that average staff engagements for nurses and healthcare assistants was 69 per cent in 2022.  

Whilst we are very pleased with the results we recognise that there is always room for improvement. Over the coming weeks each line manager will be discussing the results with their teams to look at where further improvements can be made. In addition every member of our Senior Leadership Team have made a commitment to further support our staff engagement. For example Jill Ireland, Chief Executive Offer has said: “I commit to leading the organisation that has a culture within which opportunities for personal growth, development, and valuing each and every person is at the heart of everything we do.”Jill Ireland, Chief Executive Officer  

Get in touch 

To speak to a member of our team about our services, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us. 

HomeLink Healthcare feature twice in IHPN Community Services Report ‘What does good look like?’.

We are proud to have two case studies featured in the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) Community Health Services report ‘What does good look like?’. The report includes an overview of community health services in England, along with sixteen case studies from IHPN member organisations.

 

The report explains how moving more services into the community, and out of hospital, is core to the NHS Long Term Plan. It says that it has never been more important to see community healthcare services as the essential building block to a modern, responsive health service. The report showcases how community health service providers, including HomeLink Healthcare, are bringing much needed capacity to the NHS and delivering innovation as well as improved productivity and patient outcomes. The case studies depicted in the report show ‘what good looks like’ and ‘the art of the possible’.

 

The case studies about addressing capacity issues in Buckinghamshire Health Trust and Norfolk and Waveney ICB are featured as below.

 

You can read the full report here IHPN Community Health Services report 2023.

Find out more about HomeLink Healthcare’s Hospital at Home services.

Get in touch 

To speak to a member of our team about our services or to book a free feasibility assessment, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us.  

NHS England and IHPN visit HomeLink Healthcare service

Sam Sherrington, Deputy Director for Community Nursing at NHS England, Dawn Hodgkins and Danielle Henry from The Independent Healthcare Providers Network came to visit us at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington to see how HomeLink Healthcare services work in practice.

“What we have seen here today in HomeLink is a very dynamic, solutions focused way in which we are trying to address problems around discharge”. – Sam Sherrington, NHS England

Here is a short video with Sam and Dawn reflecting on the importance of the service and some of the great things they’d observed from the HomeLink Healthcare service – the partnership between independent sector and the NHS, the innovation and quality of service, and the care, dedication and expertise of the clinicians – nurses, therapists and more – working to deliver for patients.

 

Find out more about HomeLink Healthcare’s Hospital at Home services.

Get in touch 

To speak to a member of our team about our services or to book a free feasibility assessment, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us.  

Case study: Feasibility assessment

A recent feasibility assessment concluded that implementing Hospital at Home services would free up significant numbers of inpatient beds.

In September 2023 HomeLink Healthcare’s experienced clinicians spent two days with an NHS Trust. We discussed the Trust’s current challenges, and ‘walked the wards’ to identify opportunities to discharge patients. We carried out a detailed feasibility assessment across seven wards  in surgery and medicine. These wards accommodated around a third of the hospital’s 700 beds.

The potential impact of implementing Hospital at Home services

A Virtual Ward would free up a full ward of beds in the hospital.

Virtual Ward:

Our team identified 25 patients from different specialties that could have been treated at home on a Virtual Ward.

Bridging Packages of Care:

HomeLink Healthcare Bridging Packages of care would have released an additional 16 beds (or reduced the average length of stay by 4.5 day for each patient awaiting a package of care).

A further 16 patients were identified as being medically fit for discharge and were waiting to return home with a package of care. On average it was taking the Trust four to five days to arrange this care with local providers. HomeLink Healthcare respond to referrals within two hours and can facilitate a return to patients’ homes on the same or next working day.

IV Therapy:

The Trust’s OPAT team were taking patients on longer IV prescriptions, however any patient requiring short courses were kept on the ward even though they were medically stable and could be treated at home. This is causing bed blocking and could be alleviated with administration of IV therapy in the community. HomeLink Healthcare has been providing this type of service to other NHS Trusts since 2019.

Applying this across the NHS

NHS hospitals frequently run at above 95 percent bed occupancy levels which impacts on hospital flow. Our feasibility study highlights the impact that Hospital at Home services can have. HomeLink Healthcare Hospital at Home services:

  • improve patient flow as well as patient experience and outcomes.
  • typically cost half the equivalent in-hospital care (James Paget University Hospital data).
  • help hospitals avoid recruitment challenges, we bring our own staff.
  • can avoid the need for capital expenditure on new wards.

What is a feasibility assessment?

As part of our consultative process, HomeLink Healthcare offer prospective clients a no-obligation, free feasibility assessment. The assessment provides a snapshot, at a given time, of the patients that could be treated at home. As a result, it provides a good indication of how many hospital beds could be freed up. The feasibility assessment helps prospective clients to build a business case for Hospital at Home services.

Contents of a feasibility assessment

  • During a pre-visit call we discuss your current situation and concerns with patient flow.
  • We then carry out a desk-based review of relevant documentation.
  • Our experienced clinicians visit your senior management and clinical teams on-site to discuss the current challenges.
  • We ‘walk the ward’ with your teams to identify opportunities to discharge patients and how we can help you.
  • You can ask us in-depth questions about our Hospital at Home service delivery and governance.
  • We collate and summarise findings from this survey and present this back to you within two weeks of the visit. The assessment will include a solution-based proposal with suggested staffing model (HomeLink Healthcare provide our own staff) and outcome-based measures.

The feasibility study forms part of our seven step end-to-end process:

7_Step_Process

Work with us 

Find out more about HomeLink Healthcare’s Hospital at Home services and 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 or to book a free feasibility assessment, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us.  

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

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