Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT) have reached an agreement to work more closely to improve patient outcomes.
OHFT Chief Executive Officer Dr Nick Broughton and OUHFT Chief Executive Officer Dr Bruno Holthof signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday 27 May, with the aim of enabling more joined-up care for patients.
Older patients are already seeing the benefit, as staff can work together to care for more people in their homes rather than in a hospital, which can help patients recover quicker.
The agreement has been made to ensure people:
- Get access to urgent care and support when they need it
- Receive more care at home or in their local community, avoiding unnecessary travel and hospital admissions
- Enhance the co-ordination of support for people living with long-term conditions including benefiting from innovative care and digital technology
- Improve the personalisation and responsiveness of palliative and end-of-life care
Dr Nick Broughton said: “This helps strengthen the closer working relationship between our two organisations. It is good news for our patients and our staff. It means we’ll be working as ‘one team’, breaking down organisational barriers in order to provide seamless care. Many of our services overlap, so it makes sense.
“We’re already seeing the benefits of this closer co-operation. Our community and hospital teams are working hard together to enable frail elderly patients to safely stay at home instead of going into hospital and helping get them home quicker when they’re being discharged from hospital.
“Working together as ‘one team’ will get care to patients more quickly, save them from having to repeat their stories and prevent duplication.”
Although this agreement is just between two trusts, it forms part of a growing network of closer working relationships that are developing in the health sector up and down the county.
OHFT is already part of similar ‘provider collaboratives’ that are focused on forensic mental health and children’s mental health, whilst OUHFT are developing their own ‘provider collaborative’ with other acute hospitals in the Thames Valley region.
Dr Bruno Holthof said: “One of the next steps for the collaboration will be the further development of ‘virtual wards’, allowing patients to get the care they need at home safely and conveniently without going into hospital at all.
“Remote monitoring and consultations with specialist hospital clinicians will be combined with face-to-face community care to provide a complete package of care at home.”
More information about the new partnership is available here.