Early Intervention

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Early Intervention describes what happens after an older person experiences a trigger e.g. an illness or injury, and how they are supported to make a quick recovery. This support is provided for a short period of time with the aim of helping the older person remain in their home wherever possible. It could be provided by a range of different healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists, social workers and GPs.

What is changing?

The vision of the Birmingham Older People’s Programme is that the right care is provided in the right place at the right time. Across the city, people from health and social care organisations are working together on a new way of providing care services which look after older people’s physical health, mental health and social care needs.

In terms of Early Intervention, this means looking at:

  • The short term care services older people can access from home
  • The use of short-term beds e.g. in a hospital
  • The team of healthcare professionals who make decisions about care and how decisions are made

What’s happening now?

  • Organisations have signed up to achieve the vision – this includes
    Birmingham City Council and NHS organisations who look after older people in our city
  • The heads of these organisations have signed a ‘data sharing agreement’ which means it is easier for healthcare professionals to work together
  • Eight full-time improvement managers have been seconded from different health and social care organisations. They have been selected for their passion for improving care for older people, their ability to work across organisational boundaries, and their ability to solve problems and embrace change.
  • A group of health and social care professionals from across the city have been involved in splitting the early intervention care model into bite-sized chunks or ‘components’.
  • New ways of delivering these ‘components’ will be tested to see if this results in better care and support to citizens e.g. could assessments be combined and shared so they don’t have to be carried out by multiple health professionals and citizens only have to tell their story once?
  • The testing will take place at health and social care venues across the city.
  • Finally, all the components will be combined to see if they work in tandem with one another and achieve our vision for Birmingham’s older people.

We have got an unprecedented opportunity to really make things better for older people in Birmingham.

It’s often said that people get into health and social care because they have a genuine desire to help people and by working across organisational boundaries, I’m really hopeful that we can get past some of the issues that have previously impacted our ability to do this.

It’s so exciting that we now have a real chance to help people better – across the city we are all talking to each other and making change happen.

Daniel Brown, Early Intervention – Improvement