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Community Matrons at Dovecot Health Centre


Glynis Chu, Susan Tay, Jo Bentley, Kath Nicholls, Maureen Marshall and Gemma Lloyd are all Community Matrons at Dovecot Health Centre. They discuss why they’re proud to care.

We are community matrons at Dovecot Health Centre. There are six of us in the team, and we see about 75 patients a week, mainly elderly people either in their homes or in care homes.

We are really proud of the work we have been doing to look after patients in the eight care homes in West Derby, on a much more proactive basis than ever before.

In the past, care homes tended only to contact us reactively, if a person in their care had a health problem they wanted us to deal with.

About six months ago a new way of working was commissioned as a pilot to provide an enhanced model of care to care home residents. We became part of a multi-disciplinary team, together with a commissioned GP provider, the Medicines Management Team and care home staff plus a consultant geriatrician where appropriate.  This pilot is designed to improve the quality of life for the residents and reduce hospital admissions from care homes through a more proactive way of working. An MDT meeting is held every two weeks in each of the eight care homes within the West Derby Neighbourhood. The MDT holistically assesses the residents chosen as priority by the care home staff.  We engage with residents’ families, the carers and others to identify the residents’ needs and ensure positive timely outcomes. We provide support to the carers and develop a management plan to maintain and improve the health and wellbeing of their residents.

Alongside this, the CCG have commissioned education and IT technology for carers to access 24 hour support when they identify that a patient is deteriorating.

We’re now six months into the 12 month pilot and we’ve had great results.  The clinical data shows that we have achieved a 30% reduction in hospital admission rates. But it’s not just all about the numbers. We’re really proud of the impact our work has had on some of the care home residents and the carers themselves. One resident had been on sedating night time medication for a 10 year period. This resident was drowsy for most of the day and had been experiencing some falls. We identified that she no longer required this medication and discontinued it. The results have been incredible – she engages with carers and with residents much more actively than before and she has been able to go on an outing with other residents, to Chester Zoo, for the first time and has not had any further falls.

Another positive impact from this pilot has been a reduction in the number of reactive requests to the Community Matron Service from the care homes on a day-to-day basis.  We have been able to work with the carers to break down barriers and encourage a new way of working in a supportive environment.

Added to all that, we have been able to achieve our normal day-to-day Community Matron service with minimum disruption within the neighbourhood.

We’re really proud to have been selected to take part in this initiative, of the way we’ve all pulled together as a team and overcome some of the anxieties we had when we started on the project. We feel it’s been a great achievement – even if some of us have a few more grey hairs now!