North Manchester’s Community Assessment and Support Service shortlisted for HSJ Award

CASS HSJ Award finalist
North Manchester’s Community Assessment and Support Service shortlisted for HSJ Award
14 September 2016

STAFF who provide health and social care support for vulnerable patients in the community within North Manchester’s Community Assessment and Support Service (CASS) has been shortlisted in the prestigious national health sector HSJ Awards - in the ‘Improved Partnerships between Health and Local Government’ category.

The Community Assessment and Support Service is an integrated service of health and social care staff, managed by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s Integrated and Community Services Division in North Manchester.

The CASS has been operational since September 2015, when approximately 150 health and social care staff from Pennine Acute Trust, and Manchester City Council, integrated to form one single service.

The service provides health and social care support for patients that have reached a crisis point that previously would have presented at Urgent Care or been placed in 24 hour care, as well as rehabilitating patients who are being discharged from hospital.

Support is provided from the A&E department and the Intermediate care Unit on the North Manchester General Hospital site, and Henesy House Intermediate Care Unit, although most patients are seen within their own home.

Since it was introduced, the CASS has continued to develop and has introduced joint working with ambulance services, developed joint support plans for people, and strengthened links into other services such as local primary care.

Health and social care integration is a key part of the Greater Manchester Devolution programme and is set to continue. In order to address the challenges of integrating health and social care, the team has employed innovative working practices, established a strong leadership team, fosters a strong care culture, and introduced a joint ways of working that delivers partnership working and shared responsibility.

The service has also proven to be a clinically credible, effective and safe alternative to A&E transfer or admission to a care home, all based on a financially sustainable delivery model.

Lindsey Darley, Divisional Care Director at the Pennine Acute Trust, said:

“Integrating these health and social care teams has shown a positive impact on patient care; previously people could have waited a few weeks for an assessment but now they are assessed within 24 hours, or 1 hour if they are a high priority. Fewer people who live in North Manchester are being admitted to hospital, and there is an increase in the number of people remaining in their own home rather than going into a care home. Staff have worked incredibly hard to change the way they work in order to improve patient care, and it is fantastic that the service has achieved the national recognition of being finalists in these awards.”

The finalists will be scrutinised by a judging panel made up of senior and influential figures from the health sector. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on 23 November 2016 in London.

Alastair McLellan, Editor at the HSJ, said:

"With the NHS experiencing a tough time as funding fails to keep up with demand, the HSJ Awards are once again the best reminder of the excellence the service is capable of. Taken together the entries to the HSJ Awards represent work which, directly or indirectly, has saved thousands of lives and enhanced many times that number."

Pictured: from left to right, Carol Kavanagh CASS Manager, Louise Lewis Unit Manager for Enhanced Intermediate Care, Maria Wlaszyn Nurse Assessor, Beverley Drogan Senior Occupational Therapist and Team lead, with other members of the health and social care staff at North Manchester.