Our integrated single point of access team is working with Hartlepool Borough Council to ensure our communities can access health and social care services.
“Being here in Hartlepool hospital with the whole team has transformed the care and support we can provide to our community.”Angie Caswell, principal practitioner, Hartlepool Borough Council
The staff all work together as part of the integrated single point of access (iSPA) team.
The service is based at the University Hospital of Hartlepool. It makes access to health and social care for adults in community a straight forward and simplistic process.
In their own words, they ensure patients have access to ‘right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time’.
The iSPA service was borne out of a need to deliver care, support and rehabilitation collaboratively with a collection of community partners. It ensures that the community has access to a co-ordinated health and social care pathway, appropriate to their needs.
Karen Flounders and Angie Caswell are principal practitioners, employed by Hartlepool Borough Council and working as part of the iSPA team.
Karen said: “One of the many advantages of being here with the whole team is the joined up approach.
“We can literally turn around and have a conversation with a colleague from the Trust. It aids communication in a multi-disciplinary setting and ensures that we are making informed decisions on the responses required for each individual person or patient.
“We are also able to share the same systems. So we are in a fantastic position to help patients and support them home from hospital. Our joined up approach has massively reduced hospital discharge delays.
Angie added: “We also have staff based in North Tees Hospital who work within the discharge liaison team. This improves discharge planning for people, enabling people to get home safely and quickly and help prevent readmission
“Being here in Hartlepool hospital with the whole iSPA team has transformed the care and support we can provide to our community.”
Right person, right place, right time
Bob Warnock, senior clinical professional: The integrated point of single access in Hartlepool, is a multi-professional, multi-disciplinary, multi-organisational service that is responsible for the triage and coordination of patient flow into many of our community services right across health and social care.
Title card: Beginnings
When we started as an iSPA service back in 2018, by integrating together some of our community services. We brought together the nurses from the clinical triage team, responsible for the triage of patient flow into community nursing services across community matrons, district nurses, rapid response.
We brought in a therapist from our community therapy team and we brought in the social workers from Hartlepool Borough Council’s hospital discharge team. We brought all of these team members into a room together and we gave them the permission as a service, to be able to talk to each other and to share information across multiple systems of access.
We gave them permission to make more informed decisions for any of our new referrals coming through around who was the most appropriate responding professional for any given referral coming in.
Title card: The impact
Karen Flounders and Angie Caswell, principal practitioners at Hartlepool Borough Council: “Being here in Hartlepool hospital with the whole team has transformed the care and support we can provide to our community.”
Title card: Right person, right place, right time.
About the integrated single point of access team
The team includes experienced professionals from:
- Social care
- Occupational therapy
A mental health practitioner is also due to start working with the team.
The service operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It is there to support people to be able to remain in their own homes or to return home from hospital following ill health
The iSPA supports across many areas including; community crisis response, bed-based intermediate care services, home-based intermediate care services, care homes and community nursing
Bob Warnock, senior clinical professional, said: “Because the team are all based in the same location, each referral that comes into the iSPA is discussed among the professionals so we can provide the very best care to patients.
“Working with our partners is so important. You can clearly see the benefit it has for our patients.
“By communicating so closely we ensure patients get the right response straight away. This cuts out all the duplication across different professionals so people don’t have to repeat their story multiple times.
“This greatly adds to the quality of an individual journeys through health and social care services”