Affinity Care, a General Practitioner (GP) partnership based in Bradford, has launched a groundbreaking initiative to bolster healthcare services for vulnerable residents in Wyke, Thornton, Queensbury, and Denholme. The establishment of a dedicated home visits team, known as the Complex and Housebound Care Team (CHCT), aims to keep individuals healthy at home, minimizing the need for hospital admissions.

Unlike traditional home visits conducted within a narrow timeframe between clinics, Affinity Care’s CHCT operates as a full-time service comprising a multi-disciplinary team. This team, which includes GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, and senior healthcare assistants, collaboratively conducts home visits for individuals in care homes, those with learning disabilities, individuals in end-of-life care, and the elderly. The focus is on providing continuity of care, allocating more time and resources, and ultimately reducing hospital admissions.

Louise Clarke, GP and Programme Director Healthy Communities at Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “This is a great initiative. A huge number of hospital admissions are avoidable with the right care in place. Care in the community often results in better outcomes than those treated in hospital; people get better rest without the sounds of a busy ward and loud machinery, there is a reduced risk of infection, and people are surrounded by loved ones in a familiar environment. By expanding the care provided in the community, our most vulnerable, frail and elderly patients can be better supported to continue living independently.”

The CHCT collaborates with community healthcare professionals, including district nurses, community matrons, and nursing home staff. Additionally, there is a dedicated telephone service for patient queries, advice, and support from allied healthcare professionals (AHPs), streamlining communication and optimizing resource utilization.

Rob Daw, partner at Affinity Care, said: “Healthcare assistants carry with them a TytoCare device, which enables them to link remotely with a GP or advanced nurse practitioner to undertake a full assessment of a patient including respiratory, cardiac and ear, nose and throat examinations. Ours was the first team in Yorkshire and The Humber to implement and use this technology successfully.

“Our team regularly receives feedback from patients and our community colleagues about their positive experiences with the new collaborative and dedicated way of working. We have built good working relationships with our community colleagues, with better patient care and a culture of open discussion and learning.”

The initiative aligns with the local campaign ‘It’s a GP Practice Thing,’ aimed at raising public awareness of how GP practices operate, showcasing community-based, non-medical support services available to address people’s needs. Affinity Care’s proactive and collaborative approach represents a significant step towards enhancing community healthcare in Bradford and ensuring the well-being of its residents.