Heard the news about NEWS?

Residents of care homes in Hartlepool and Stockton have benefitted from an improved method of monitoring their health, thanks to a partnership-led training programme.

The North Tees and Hartlepool Education Alliance (NTHEA) is a partnership between North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, Stockton Borough Council, Hartlepool Borough Council and Alice House Hospice. Over the last three years NTHEA has been delivering training sessions to care home staff to help maintain the resident’s well-being.

In addition to these well-being sessions, there has been an emphasis on staff recognising the need to ensure that they can correctly identify the early warning signs of ill health, NTHEA has developed an innovative National Early Warning Score (NEWS) training programme.

“The local care home sector has taken ownership of the NEWS system and run with it. They see the benefits to the people in their care and we couldn’t be happier.”

– Andrew Cotton, Education Administration Support Officer

Based on the NEWS, staff at all 50 local care homes now have the ability to monitor the resident’s health using digital technology.

The NEWS consists of:

  • Respiration rate
  • Oxygen levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse rate
  • Level of consciousness/confusion
  • Temperature

Recording the information electronically creates a ‘score’ which is shared with community clinical specialists such as Community Matron’s, and allows for a more informed decision about the best plan of action.

Andrew Cotton, Education Administration Support Officer for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new assessment standards have seen a significant reduction in the number of emergency referrals to hospital from local care homes. Residents’ health issues are being identified earlier and dealt with before they progress to needing emergency hospital care.

“The local care home sector has taken ownership of the NEWS system and run with it. They see the benefits to the people in their care and we couldn’t be happier.”

In Hartlepool, admissions reduced from 60 in September 2017 to 49 in September 2018 and in Stockton, in the same one-month sample period, admissions reduced from 95 to 85, resulting in a cost saving of more than £150,000.

One of the local residential homes to adopt the NEWS system is The White House in Stockton-on-Tees.

Rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC, The White House senior care worker Holly Golt explained: “The training was great. It’s very easy to follow the NEWS process and as part of the session, we all did an assessment on actual resident of The White House.

“We use NEWS all the time. We do a monthly assessment which gives us a baseline for every resident, so we can immediately tell if there are any changes in their condition we need to be aware of.

“We alert the community matrons if the NEWS system is telling us there is a problem, and they offer us advice on what to do next. It means we don’t end up calling out a doctor for no reason or going to hospital when we don’t need to. But if there is a problem, we’re all so much more confident in dealing with it properly.”

Leave a comment

comments powered by Disqus