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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 7 Projects

A Novel Collaborative Approach to Swallowing, Nutrition and Medication Management using digital technology

Sheiladen Aquino

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Watch Sheiladen talk about her project.

Difficulties with Swallowing (Dysphagia), is significantly prevalent in institutionalized elderly patients where at least 51% of residents are affected on a daily basis. Current research shows that post intubation due to Covid-19 and long-covid symptoms places patients at high risk of dysphagia and may exacerbate existing dysphagia symptoms that can lead to aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, and non-compliance with oral medication resulting in increased hospital admission and reduced quality of life for care home residents.

The Project:

This project trialed a new collaborative model of providing care using a remote telehealth digital solution.  It explored a new integrated way of working between three specialist allied health services: Speech & Language Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition, and Pharmacy. It aimed to develop a single point of referral to eliminate bureaucracy and multiple waitlists.

Project Aims and Objectives:

The project used quintuple aims to ensure that the proposed service improvement is based on the latest internationally recognised health and care improvement framework.

Aim 1: To improve individual care experiences by reducing waiting times and receiving seamless, integrated care from multiple professionals.

Aim 2: To improve clinical outcomes using standardized therapy outcome measures for three.

Aim 3: To evaluate costs reduction or cost-neutral opportunities in using the novel intervention.

Aim 4: To report workforce wellbeing from interviews and workforce-reported outcome measures when using this new model.

Aim 5: To assess equity of care to elderly residents in care homes with complex and chronic health issues when using digital technology.

Project Outcomes:

  • Improved resident’s experience as waiting times reduced by 75%.
  • Improved quality of life outcomes
  • Potential savings of £48,647.37pa
  • 85% of referrals completed care using telehealth.
  • Improved workforce confidence and wellbeing.

Project Impact:

  • Improved experience and clinical outcomes for care home residents.
  • Increase NHS capacity: In a year, additional 66 hospital bed days are released and community staff can see 50 more clients.
  • Greener planet: saved 1.12T of Co2.
  • Improved workforce confidence and wellbeing with potential implications for recruitment and retention.
  • Provided a model on how to use technology to provide equitable patient centered care.

View the project poster and slides from the Cohort 7 Exemplar Showcase