Working together to meet complex care needs

PUBLISHED: 11:39 22 May 2012

Becky Garnsworthy, community matron, and occupational therapist Debbie Kerr.

Becky Garnsworthy, community matron, and occupational therapist Debbie Kerr.

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How the NHS is working hand-in-hand with Devon County Council from Honiton Community Hospital.

How NHS and Devon County Council staff are working together from Honiton Community Hospital to address complex care needs was the topic of a talk given to Hospiscare supporters.

Self-confessed ‘double act’ Beck Garnsworthy, community matron, and occupational therapist Debbie Kerr, a GP’s wife, explained how their roles complement each other during the annual meeting of Hospiscare’s Honiton and District Support Group.

Co-ordinating end of life care is, increasingly, part of their jobs, they said.

People want to stay at home for as long as possible and the integration of services provided by different agencies is central to providing the right care packages, the meeting heard.

Mrs Kerr explained how clients are referred to the complex care team via Care Direct. She said it was important that anybody making contact with Care Direct gives as much information as possible - to ensure the right people deal with their needs.

“Invariably, we are there to support people in their own homes,” said Mrs Kerr, who is based in the hospital’s Jerrard Wing. She went on to explain that she also gets involved when people can no longer remain at home.

“I will look at placements and, unfortunately, finances comes into it,” she said.

The duo shared a case study about a motor neurone disease sufferer, who had needed support in the home before moving into residential care.

Thanking the guest speakers for their talk, Barry Carpenter, Hospiscare’s fund-raising co-ordinator, said: “I found that fascinating; very reassuring.”


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