Operation Home 1st, the next phase in the health & social care response to COVID-19 across Grampian, launched

Operation Home 1st is a partnership between all three of the region’s health & social care partnerships and NHS Grampian’s Acute Services and will see more health care delivered to people at home.

Most critical community health and social care services have continued, albeit in new and different ways, throughout the initial response to COVID-19. Services and staff across the health and social care partnerships (HSCPs) and NHS Grampian had to be agile and adapt quickly to the demands that COVID-19 placed upon them. Operation Home 1st has been developed to build on what has been learnt across the health & social care system in Grampian to ensure that there is a robust plan in place to deal with any future surge or demand on services, better outcomes for patients and the needs of our vulnerable populations are met.

Operation Home 1st is overseen by a steering group made up of the Chief Officers of all three HSCPs, the Chief Executives all three Grampian Local Authorities and the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian. Together they have developed, in consultation with the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the three Integration Joint Boards, a set of principles which are:

 We will adopt a principle of ‘home first’ for all care
 We will have a greater focus on better, evidence based, outcomes for our patients.
 We will remain flexible and agile so that, should there be a surge in demand we are ready to respond.
 We will maximise digital solutions wherever we can.
 We will look at the whole person, their circumstances and supports when deciding on whether admission to hospital is required.
 We will deliver on the strategic aims of the three Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) and the NHS Grampian Board.

 We will work within the constraints of physical distancing and the needs of our ‘shielded’ population.
 We will work as a whole system.

Fiona Francey, Chief Officer for Acute Services at NHS Grampian, said: “We know that people, especially older populations remain fitter and healthier the longer they remain at home and that outcomes for many people following a stay, even a short one, in hospital can be negatively impacted. So, it makes sense that we try to provide more services in people’s homes and communities, which is what people tell us they would prefer to a hospital admission.

“Operation Home 1st will see a big change to the way we in the Acute sector work, with more of us getting out into the community to deliver services that would traditionally be delivered in a hospital setting. I believe that this will have a hugely positive impact on how we work with our colleagues in primary and social care and will lead to better outcomes for patients. It will be a challenge, but I am sure that by working across both health & social care, we are more than able to achieve it”

Operation Home 1st will also see the further roll-out of digital solutions to support healthcare, such as NHS Near Me, which has been the key to continuing with many appointments and consultations throughout COVID-19 across Grampian.

To support continued community engagement the Operation Home 1st Steering Group has developed a digital ‘community newsletter’ which anyone can sign up to using this link http://eepurl.com/g8dOvH Each edition of the newsletter will have updates about what is happening in each area and will also have links to further information and a short survey so that the public can have their say.

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