The Community Liaison Team
A Day In The Life
What’s it like to work in the Community Liaison Team?
Laura Palmer, Staff Engagement Manager at NCH&C, spent a day with our Community Liaison Team finding out how they are helping patients flow from the acute hospital setting to the community.
Based at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is a small office housing that is known as the “face of NCH&C at NNUH”. The Community Liaison Team (CLT) is made up of six nurses and admin support. The team runs a seven day service as part of an Integrated Discharge Hub, directly supporting community admissions to NCH&C inpatient units and admission avoidance from NNUH outpatient clinic and A&E areas. They also provide a point of contact between the acute/community inpatient services ensuring a flow of information and coordinated response to critical demand levels.
They have to be one of the most assertive teams in the healthcare system, “sitting” in the middle of acute and community services, liaising on which services are most appropriate for the patients they see. The team have a built a really good rapport with our Discharge Coordinators across NCH&C which is helping to keep things moving. At the same time, they are also promoting their moto of “always think home first”.
From 8am it was all go, liaising with all the inpatient community units, finding out the bed state/ what type of beds were available (male, female, side rooms etc.) and checking to see if any patients have been readmitted from our community beds.
Patients who are referred to CLT are deemed medically fit and ready for transfer to community services. CLT assesses all patients referred to gain insight into their needs and understand which services would be appropriate, especially if they require rehabilitation, and whether they have been engaged in therapy in the acute setting.
As well as assessing patients, the team have to be involved in system conference calls titled the Silver Call. This is chaired by the CCG and system partners including NNUH, the Ambulance Service, 111, NSFT, Social Services, the Systems Ops team at NCH&C, ERS, the complex discharge team at NNUH and other community pathways.
I observed many assessments of patients who had been referred. The team advocates a“describe” rather than “prescribe” approach to what patients need, ensuring they receive the most appropriate care and support.