The one stop community health team for Wigan patients
Community based nurses, other health professionals and social workers are now working together as part of a new, single team in Wigan, Ashton and Leigh to improve care and support for patients.
The Integrated Community Service (ICS) brings together NHS staff based in the community with local council health and adult social care staff to provide support to patients in their place of residence.
Patients being discharged after hospital care who need support in the community will be referred directly to the ICS team to coordinate and provide the different care that they might need.
Why an integrated community service?
Their sole aim is to improve the coordination of care and services for patients who need health or social care support in the community.
That makes it easier for the staff involved and the patients.
Traditionally these teams have worked in isolation to provide services for patients, so it makes sense to bring them together to better coordinate care for Wigan patients and design a care package around them that is based on their specific needs.
The aim is to prevent unnecessary admission to hospital and break down barriers between health and social care.
The team also care for those patients who need rapid intervention if an illness gets worse to prevent them needing to be admitted to hospital where possible. For those patients who do need some hospital care, the team provide the necessary support to ensure a safe and timely discharge back into the community.
Who works in the team?
Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Wigan Council are working together with Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and North West Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the service which launched in Autumn 2016.
Services the team are now providing include district nurses, podiatrists (foot care specialists), dietitians, occupational therapists, continence teams, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists. They work closely alongside adult social care teams.
The team also focus on supporting patients with long-term illnesses including cellulitis, respiratory and cardiac conditions and urine infections. Quick intervention in the community can prevent patients with these conditions needing to be admitted to hospital if they worsen.
The ICS team work from local bases in Ashton, Wigan and Leigh.
How to contact ICS if you need community care or have any questions
Patients are be able to contact the team directly to access all these community services or raise queries about community care they are receiving through one convenient phone number 01942 483 483.
Asthma case study
A mum of two children aged seven and 10 had been admitted to hospital several times due to severe sudden onset asthma. Her husband and mother had recently deceased and other family members do not live in the borough.
She sees the respiratory physicians and asthma nurse on a regular basis, but she has previously refused hospital admission due to worries about her children being taken into care as she has no family members living nearby.
Continence case study
The Wigan Continence Service is helping reduce dependency on urinary catheters amongst patients being cared for in their own homes.
The Wigan Continence Team has introduced a process to offer a ‘trial without catheter’ service in conjunction with Wigan District Nursing teams.
Heart failure case study
A 78 year old female patient was referred to the ICS Leigh Hub following discharge from hospital.
She has end stage heart failure with symptoms including breathlessness, weeping legs and palpitations. She lives alone and is socially isolated.
Mental health case study
A GP was contacted by a family concerned about a patient (their father) who had been discharged from Sovereign Unit after previously being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
The family felt that their father was not coping well and were going to ring for an ambulance as they were at crisis point and could not cope.