Testing the eFI in Scotland: focus on Midlock GP practice

 

Some members of the Living Well in Communities and Midlock teams at the NHSScotland event

The Living Well in Communities team is working with Health and Social Care Partnerships in Glasgow City, West Dunbartonshire and Midlothian to test the electronic frailty index (eFI) to identify people over 65 who are living with frailty in the community. The Living Well in Communities team have developed an assets-based approach to support evidence-based interventions that are tailored to the individual. This article looks at the work to date with Midlock GP practice in Glasgow.

The testing in Midlock GP practice

The eFI uses GP read codes to calculate an individual’s degree of frailty and stratifies them into fit, mildly frail, moderately frail and severely frail. The tool has been validated in England. The purpose of testing at Midlock GP practice was to determine if the tool was accurate in a Scottish context. We have been working with a GP and other members of Glasgow City HSCP, including housing and the voluntary sector. The testing involved stratification of the GP population for frailty and reviewing case scenarios to determine if the eFI tool fits with a Scottish population.

Following this process, there was broad consensus at Midlock GP practice that the eFI categories were accurate for their population. This prompted them to consider, how do we support people who are living with frailty? What does this mean for the individual? and how can we work collaboratively in the community to support them?

The case scenarios identified anticipatory care, crisis prevention and palliative and end of life care work as areas where the team could make a difference to support people to remain in their own home.

The team identified three stages of frailty to focus on initially:

  • people who are changing from mild to moderate frailty (anticipatory care),
  • people who are moderately frail with the biggest change in eFI score (crisis prevention), and
  • people who are severely frail with the biggest change in eFI score (palliative and end of life care).

Midlock GP practice has developed a virtual way of working within the multidisciplinary team and have used the Living Well in Communities falls and frailty intervention tool to guide the development of a falls and frailty collaborative working in the community. The team have found the tool beneficial to use during frailty case reviews, as it promotes holistic assessment across agencies and is a useful prompt that helps staff by signposting to partner agencies that could assist in care provision. Incorporating the tool in the case reviews highlighted five key interventions which should be implemented for every individual identified as frail (#Frailty5):

  • Frailty identification and coding on the GP system
  • Anticipatory Care Plans uploaded to eKIS
  • Key worker
  • Carer support and assessment
  • Falls & Frailty Conversation

These interventions had previously not been happening for every person, every time.

The impact so far

“The frailty tool is excellent guidance to follow and know where to signpost people.”

“There was a richness of information shared by the MDT and it’s amazing to know how many supports are there for people.”

All of the team at Midlock have made commitments to support the work. Community nurses are engaging more in anticipatory care planning conversations, and the third sector feel that they are an integral part of the work, and that their contribution is valued. The inclusion of housing options in the tool is valued by the team, and the tool has made them aware of all the supports that are available.

Supporting the Midlock team to test the efi and the falls and frailty interventions tool has helped the team to change the way that they work, with benefits for both staff and those who receive care.

Find out more about the Living Well in Communities frailty and falls work on the ihub website.

We also displayed a poster on our work at the NHSScotland event in June, which you can view here.

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Preventing falls in Argyll and Bute: Cowal Befrienders’ exercise classes

Strength and Balance

In this article we look at a service which is aiming to prevent falls by supporting older people who have difficulty attending classes to take part in exercise.

Background

Exercise has an important role to play in reducing the risk of falls among older people in the community. A recent BMJ review has indicated that exercise-based and tailored interventions are the most effective way to reduce falls and associated healthcare costs among older people in the community, while a recently updated Care Inspectorate good practice resource, Managing Falls and Fractures in Care Homes for Older People has stressed the importance of keeping mobile, doing regular exercise and being physically active.

The Cowal Befrienders’ falls prevention exercise classes are working towards the overall aim that “Older people have a reduced risk of falls that may affect their ability to live independently in the community”.

The classes

Cowal Befrienders host two strength and balance exercise classes per week for older people who require some help to get to the Befrienders’ drop-in centre where the classes are held and support to participate in exercise classes.

Classes are co-ordinated and delivered by Otago-qualified staff employed by Cowal Befrienders (the Otago  exercise programme is designed to prevent falls). Referrals and assessments are managed by the NHS Highland physiotherapy team.

Clients are entitled to six free classes, and can continue to attend for a modest fee of £2.50 per session. There is a small charge for clients requesting transport to their classes to help offset the additional costs incurred to provide this service (£3 return for individuals living within Dunoon, and £5 return for those living outside of the town).

In addition to health and wellbeing benefits, such as increased strength, balance and mobility, and helping participants to feel more confident and independent, the classes also have a social aim: to help older people to expand their social networks and foster peer support, and to increase access to health-promoting information that meets their needs.

The social aspect of the classes has been particularly valued by participants, with 97% citing this as one of the things that they enjoyed most about the classes. Clients also particularly appreciated the encouragement that they were given by staff and volunteers, and the pace of the classes. Continue reading “Preventing falls in Argyll and Bute: Cowal Befrienders’ exercise classes”