District nurses and social workers have
relocated to the Richardson Community Hospital in Barnard Castle,
enhancing the services available at the NHS
The move is part of a continuing
commitment by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust,
Durham County Council, and NHS commissioners to strengthen the role
of the hospital.
District nurses support patients in
their homes and in care homes and work with social workers to
provide services that help people to live independently for as long
as possible. By basing these teams at the hospital, they are closer
to the community wards, allowing them to liaise with ward staff to
ensure quicker and safer discharges. The patients also have the
reassuring knowledge that it will be the same nurses and social
workers they have met during their stay in hospital that will visit
them at home.
Sandra Smyth, district nurse team
leader, said: "The reaction to the move has been incredibly
positive. Both teams have seen real benefits from being jointly
located in the Richardson and that's helping to make speedier, more
effective responses for the people of Teesdale.
together in this way makes it easier to join up the care packages
designed for local patients and to give joint assessments, linking
in with specialist services as needed such as therapists and
community psychiatric nurses, who are also based in the hospital.
We can also arrange multidisciplinary meetings to share knowledge
much more easily now as we're all working in the same building,
right next door to each other."
Steven Shires, locality matron for the
Durham Dales, added: "We share the same patients and the fact that
we can have a conversation face-to-face about the people that we're
looking after is fantastic. It simply means better, more
coordinated care for the people of Teesdale."
The Richardson Community Hospital
opened in 2007 and has 16 beds with two further beds that can be
opened if needed. It also offers more than 20 specialist clinics,
including urology, dermatology, audiology, ophthalmology and speech
and language therapy.
Moving district nurses and social
workers to the site is part of a new health and social care model
in County Durham that puts people and patients at the heart of
care. It has seen County Durham's innovative Integrated Community
Care Partnership bring together NHS organisations, the council and
other providers to deliver improved, joined up health and social
care services closer to people's home and to prevent unnecessary
Cllrs Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for
adult and health services at Durham County Council, said: "We want
our health and social care services to help the people of County
Durham to lead healthy and happy lives at home. It's wonderful to
hear about the positive impact the relocation of district nurses
and social workers to the Richardson Community Hospital is already
having in Teesdale.
"As well as
making it easier for health professionals to work together, it's
providing more co-ordinated care to patients. This includes the
comforting knowledge that the district nurse and social workers who
will be visiting them when they leave hospital are people they
Published 8th January 2020
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham