• Project led by Manchester Community Health.
  • Project teams based in nursing homes.
  • Aimed to reduce the number of emergency hospital admissions from care homes and reduce residents’ length of stay in hospital.
  • Designed and tested changes to support improved communication and collaboration between NHS organisations including emergency departments and care homes.

The Care Home Collaborative project brought together multidisciplinary teams to design and test changes that would provide nursing home residents with the right care, in the right place, at the right time. The project aims included:

  • improving communications across organisational and professional boundaries
  • reducing the number of emergency hospital admissions from care homes
  • reducing residents’ length of stay in hospital
  • increasing the percentage of residents with end of life care plans.

The care home teams involved in the project attended a series of workshops where they learnt about improvement methods and developed action plans using the Plan, Do, Study, Act model. In between the workshops, the teams met to monitor their results and review their action plans. 

Who was involved

The project involved frontline staff from nursing homes, primary care, general practice and the acute trust.

Outcomes

The project delivered a 40% decrease in length of stay. There was a marginal impact on the number of admissions. 

New protocols established through the project included a patient transfer form and communication standard to inform nursing homes about a resident's hospital stay, and a process for sharing end-of-life care plans with out-of-hours doctors.

All participants were given ownership and the project was genuinely collaborative. It recognised the need to adopt a flexible, bottom-up approach to fully engage and promote collaborative working across all sectors.

Further reading