New nurse-led service for Dundee care homes

PrintA new service to support the health and wellbeing of Dundee care home residents is proving successful.

The nurse-led service, run by Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Care Home Team, aims to support care home staff to adapt their care plans to support residents health and wellbeing and avoid hospital admissions where possible.

Many older care home residents have complex long-term health conditions and the Care Home Team provides advice and educational support regarding early identification of ill health, symptom management and good nursing practice to promote comfort.

This new service complements a service which started in 2018 and sees advanced nurse practitioners and registered general nurses responding to care homes requests which would normally have required a same day GP visit.

Margaret Swankie 2
Advanced nurse practitioner Margaret Swankie

Margaret Swankie, advanced nurse practitioner with the Care Home Team, said, “In the past year, by  responding to house call requests from care homes the team has built up a good working relationship with staff.

“They have developed a good knowledge of the resident’s condition and how care staff already use their skills to provide quality care. This means care staff feel more empowered to adapt their care to meet the residents care requirements.”

The Care Home Team works closely with GPs, specialist nurses, community rehabilitation teams and practice pharmacists enabling them to co-ordinate changes to the prescribed care that supports care home residents to live as healthy a life as possible.

The Care Home Team includes advanced nurse practitioners, registered general nurses, registered mental health nurses and Dundee City Council social work review officers.

Commenting on the service, care home manager of HC One Balcarres Lynn McLean said, “The Care Home Team has built a good rapport with staff. Through their patience and understanding of our residents, the team has developed sound knowledge of the residents’ conditions and ensure high quality care continues to be delivered.

“They also take the time to discuss any concerns with our team and are always available to support them by providing expert nursing advice. We look forward to seeing this continue.”

The team regularly visits every care home in Dundee, supporting care home staff to identify health issues in residents at an earlier stage. This means that health issues can be treated earlier enabling appropriate healthcare support to be offered, reducing the need for residents to be admitted into hospital.

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