“New pilot project to improve night time adult social care in Torbay”

Adults requiring social care in their own homes in Torbay can now benefit from a new ‘twilight hours’ service being launched by the Bay Care group.  NHS England has recently awarded the Bay Care group initial funding from the national ‘Better Care Fund’ to establish and develop a new night time service to fill gaps in existing provision.

The new service is unique in the region and will aim to pilot a new model of providing urgent social care during the night and small hours of the morning.  The new service will ultimately aim to:

  • Reduce the number of people waiting to return home from hospital admissions, due to a lack of specialist social care to allow them to go home safely.
  • Reduce the number of avoidable hospital admissions linked to a lack of community based social care during ‘twilight hours’.
  • Reduce the number of ambulance team visits to simply to assist uninjured people up from the floor after falling in their homes during the middle of the night.
  • Provide additional support to relatives throughout the night, who have concerns about the safety and wellbeing of their loved ones living on their own in the Bay.

The pilot project will involve a team of experienced and specially trained care workers.  The team will be available daily from 20:00hrs overnight until 08:00hrs the following morning.  In highlighting the importance of this new innovative approach, Bay Care Director, Katrina Green said:  “In most situations around the country, social care provision is usually only available to vulnerable people from 7am in the morning until 10pm in the evening.  Based on our ten years experience of providing care in the Bay, there is a very clear and urgent need to provide and develop additional night time services which focus on urgent need.  The traditional model of night time care would typically require a care worker to be present at a client’s property for a twelve hour visit period.  This model ties up a lot of care worker time where they cannot be used elsewhere.  Often, a care worker might spend 10 to 12 hours at a client’s home during the night – but may only be needed to turn the client in bed or repositioning them every four hours in a 15 minute procedure.  Our new service will provide new community resources which can be targeted and focussed on client priorities.

The new service will also be able to visit those who have fallen at home, are uninjured but unable to get up from the floor because of poor mobility.  Members of the new team have received additional specialist training in using portable lifting devices.  It is hoped that this will reduce the number of unnecessary visits from ambulance service crews to simply assist people with no other means of getting themselves up.  As Katrina describes:  “Our trained new team can visit those who require this type of support and then spend quality time with them after a fall to provide them with comforting reassurance. This will reduce some of the demand on our local ambulances services and free them up for more urgent emergency response work.

The Bay Care pilot project is being supported by Torbay & South Devon NHS Trust, who agree there is a need to develop additional ‘through the night’ social care services.