In our latest Meet Team OneLondon feature we introduce Beth Horsell who is a Project Coordinator and Engagement Lead at South West London Integrated Care System. Beth’s career started as a radiographer and she now has a pivotal role in OneLondon’s care home pilot which is already making a big impact (8 February 2023).
What is your role in South West London Integrated Care System and how did you get into it?
I joined just over a year ago as a coordinator to increase the region’s compliance with the Data Security and Protection Toolkit. I support local care homes to meet important standards for keeping confidential data safe and protecting themselves from cyber-attacks.
Over time, my role evolved into the Engagement Lead for further care home pilot projects including OneLondon’s current pilot project giving the first care homes in the Capital access to the London Care Record.
My career journey began in 2002 as a radiographer and I have worked in A&E, oncology, orthopaedic, paediatrics and elderly care giving me extensive experience and knowledge in front line care and its complexity.
I then moved into the corporate world as an applications specialist where I installed, optimised and configured digital imaging equipment in hospitals. I provided high level training so staff use the system in the most efficient and effective way to get the best outcome for patients.
Both my clinical and corporate experience fostered my passion for improving standards of care – something I am lucky enough to be involved with on a daily basis in my current role.
What does your work involve on a day to day basis?
Well it does involve a lot of spreadsheets and emails! But with around 350 care homes in South West London my role is mainly about people and front line engagement. I speak to care home managers and staff, motivate teams, build relationships and trust and give people the information they need so they can make more informed decisions.
For example, with the London Care Record pilot there are nine homes in South West London that are part of the project. I speak to the managers and staff on an almost daily basis to check progress and share examples of how the London Care Record is helping other care homes so everyone can get the most out of it. This wonderfully dedicated group of professionals is embracing new opportunities to provide the best possible care for their residents.
What are you trying to achieve with the care home pilot and why is this important?
The purpose of this pilot is to demonstrate how giving social care providers access to the secure London Care Record, they can view their residents’ pathways between different healthcare providers, use this information to be more proactive and offer vast improvements in the care that their residents receive.
My drive to raise awareness of this pilot is because I can see the challenges of patient pathways and the improvements that need to be made. I believe that providing a secure platform for sharing information really can help join up care at minimal cost.
My grandmother was moved between hospital and different care homes because there was not enough visibility and communication between care providers to accurately assess her needs. If diagnostic results and discharge summaries were available to care homes at the time of placement it would have been a much smoother transition of care for her. As a result she had a disruptive pathway towards the end of her life when she should have felt comfortable and safe with the correct care available.
What are care home staff saying about it?
Each Friday I chair a meeting bringing together the managers from the pilot care homes. Each week they talk about amazing examples of how the London Care Record is helping them to proactively manage and improve the care pathways of their residents by speeding up processes and helping to avoid disruptive transitions that are often experienced. And crucially it is saving care home staff time that they can spend with their residents.
One care home manager said ‘How will we manage returning to previous methods once this pilot comes to an end’. For me this sums it up perfectly. And this is why I am working so hard with OneLondon colleagues to make sure this continues.
What’s your proudest moment working on this project?
I am incredibly proud to have been chosen to represent the London Care Record pilot to lead our care homes into this amazing project. I am, and always have been, passionate about providing solutions that improve patient care and have seen first hand how this approach has been used successfully in diagnostic imaging – saving time, money and helping to avoid unnecessary procedures. So I know that if rolled out right in social care this would translate into improvements like less journeys to hospital, quicker medication and referral actions and reliable communication of diagnostic testing and results – to name just a few!!