A new manager of the South Cumbria “Transfer of Care Hub” has been appointed to improve cooperation between social care and hospitals.
The role will make sure social care providers and local hospitals are working hand-in-hand and people are discharged from hospital into care and with the right level of support, as well as providing alternative options to hospital admission when acute hospital care is not required.
Joanne Brown, the Transfer of Care Hub Manager, took up the role on April 1 this year (the first day of the newly-formed Westmorland and Furness Council) with the aim to make sure patients do not spend any longer in hospital than they need to and receive the right level of support when they leave.
The position is jointly funded by Westmorland and Furness Council , Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals nationwide have experienced backlogs of patients unable to be discharged into care settings, either because of a lack of availability, or staff shortages in the care industry. To help ease the backlog, the Transfer of Care Hub was created in September last year.
The Hub’s aim is to ensure patients in North Lancashire, South Cumbria and Furness are discharged from hospital on the right pathways, with the right discharge information, and that they get the right onward care and support. It was formed by working together with partners across the system from health, social care, housing, and the voluntary sector.
Prior to taking up the role as the Transfer of Care Hub manager, Joanne was an Adult Social Care Service Manager in Adult Social Care and is also a qualified Occupational Therapist.
Joanne said: “The Transfer of Care Hub is designed to both support the timely discharge of people from hospital, and seek alternatives to hospital admission, and I’m delighted to be able to get started and help drive the change needed to ensure the hub achieves its aims.
“This is about social care and health working in an integrated way to make best use of all our resources and ensure people are discharged to the right place (which for most people will be their own home) with the right type and level of support – and prevent people being readmitted to hospital or admitted unnecessarily when we can offer alternative solutions that are appropriate for that individual.
“It is a really exciting time for the hub, and I’m looking forward to forging relationships with health and social care partners that will improve outcomes for our residents.”
Catherine Whalley, Director of Adult Social Care with Westmorland and Furness Council, said: “I’m so pleased Joanne is now in place and we can begin making the changes needed to ensure the transfer of patients from acute care into social care is improved for the people of Westmorland and Furness and the surrounding areas.
“The Transfer of Care Hub is a step change for health and care services in our area and I’m proud that we’re able to partly fund this position and help deliver improvements for residents.”
Dee Houghton, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at UHMBT said “We have worked closely with Social Care and wider partners for the last 18 months to develop the Hub. We are confident that Joanne's role and the Hub will link with other services and support the provision of better co-ordinated care for our patients to support their discharge, or alternatives to hospital admission, when appropriate."
To find out more about the Transfer of Care Hub, please visit the UHMBT website.