News in Brief: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals join paediatric dentistry training programme, George Eliot Hospital launches walking aid recycle scheme and more

As we take our first steps into 2023, we are reminded of the opportunities for growth and change the new year brings. This week at IH, we have been exploring the positive changes taking place across the country in health and social care.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals join paediatric dentistry training programme

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has introduced a new specialty training programme designed to increase the number of specialist paediatric dentists. The trust offers a range of community-based support to help patients who are unable to access services from general dental practices.

The programme encompasses a broad range of dental services such as emergency dentistry, sedation and special care at sites across Fylde Coast and North Lancashire.  The intended goal over the next three years is to establish better access to specialist dental services in the wider communities.

One of the specialists in paediatric dentistry driving the initiative, Hannah Walsh, said of the project: “Having a specialist-led service locally means that care will be more accessible for families in the area, without needing to travel to large dental hospitals.”

George Eliot Hospital launches walking aid recycle scheme

A new recycling programme has just been implemented at George Eliot Hospital, giving patients an opportunity to return their unused walking aids.

The trust has partnered with healthcare and community providers across Bedford and Nuneaton, opening five drop-off points where people can leave their unused walking aids. The equipment will be collected every week, cleaned and refurbished before being allocated to other patients who would greatly benefit from them.

Asking the community to help increase the number of walking aids returned, reused and recycled in turn reduces the environmental impact of them going to landfill – helping the trust to maintain their Green Plan objectives.

George Eliot’s Chief Strategy, Improvement and Partnerships Officer, Jenni Northcote, said: “Giving back unused equipment will provide vital help to people who need this equipment and also help us reduce our costs and environmental impact. Having timely access to a walking aid such as crutches or a walking stick can make a huge difference to patients, helping them maintain their independence”.

Gloucester Hospitals introduce ‘There’s No Place like Home’ campaign highlighting benefits of at-home recovery

Health and care organisations in Gloucestershire are collaborating through the ‘There’s No Place like Home’ campaign, which seeks to raise public awareness around the benefits of recovering at home.

This is a joint programme between Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, One Gloucestershire (NHS Gloucestershire ICB) and Gloucestershire County Council.

The campaign is founded on research which shows that once the acute phase of illness is over, hospitals may not the best place for recovery. Evidence suggests that patients can rehabilitate better in their own homes, in a familiar environment with close access to loved ones.

The campaign focuses on raising awareness for benefits of home recovery including patient ability to get a good rest in their own home; the comfort of familiar surroundings in improving mental health; the lessened likelihood of catching infection from other patients; and improved physical strength, given that patients have more freedom to move around at home.

As part of the project, an information leaflet and checklist will be shared with inpatients, families and their carers raising awareness of the benefits of recovering at home.

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust champion learning disability and autism service

An estimated 1.5 million people in the UK have autism or some form of learning disability. Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust are focusing on helping people reach their potential through centralised care, based around core values: respect, compassion, collaboration, integrity, and excellence.

The trust ensures that everyone receives an individualised care package to help them improve their lives and overall well-being. Multi-disciplinary teams provide tailored support, maintaining a consistent approach and building around the individual’s needs. 

They provide a wide variety of learning disability services to children and adults across Coventry, Warwickshire, and Solihull, supporting patients through assessment, diagnosis and treatment until the specialist care provided is no longer needed.

Personal support programmes are implementer by the dedicated team for child with mild, moderate and severe learning disabilities, with ages ranging from five to 18. Adults over the age of 18 struggling with a learning disability that cannot be met by mainstream services are also given support through specialist learning disability health services.

Swindon introduces Transition to Work programme for young adults with mental health difficulties 

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with New College, Swindon Borough Council, and Swindon SEND Families Voice in order to create a support programme helping adults with mental health difficulties transition into work.

The trust’s new DFN project is a one-year transition to work programme which aims to challenge cultural perceptions of adults with learning disabilities, by helping them reach their full potential in the work place.

The scheme provides interns with work-based learning opportunities, offering hands on experience and the chance to improve their employability skills.

Joining the project is the public services company Serco, providing non-clinical services responsible for finding the interns placements in security, portering, catering and many more.