North Devon Hospital in Barnstaple, which is run by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, has the distinction of being the first NHS trust to enter the home care market in the UK.
The hospital has launched Devon Cares, a programme that brings together care providers under the fold of the NHS.
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Director of Strategy and Transformation Andy Ibbs stated that this development was good news for people requiring home care. He went on to add that the trust was excited to work with the local care providers with the aim to improve home care throughout northern and mid Devon.
Ibbs also stated that the trust believed in joining forces with care providers as this allowed combined care for people between their home and the hospital. He believes this approach would allow the trust to close loopholes that exist in care capacity and address other issues affecting the healthcare system in Devon.
Devon Cares does not directly deliver care. Instead, it works with NHS contractors and other providers to organise as well as manage home care. The service looks to bring about collaboration between the providers and the NHS so that it resolves issues relating to capacity and quality.
The trust was appointed by Devon County Council as the main NHS contractor for home care earlier in 2016 to provide care to people in mid and northern Devon under the Council’s Living Well at Home scheme. It is anticipated that being part of Devon Cares and the NHS will increase its capacity to recruit and retain home care providers in the local market and ensure providers have a sense of security to plan for the future.
Devon County Councillor and Cabinet Member responsible for adult social care Stuart Barker said that high-quality community-based care was important to support the vulnerable so that they could live independently at home.