Barack Obama’s health adviser visits care home

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The former health adviser to Barack Obama praised improvements at a care home as part of his tour of the UK.

Professor Donald Berwick visited Carleton Court Care Home in Pontefract, where he met health and social care bosses and took part in a question and answer session.

He was told about Connecting Care, a group of organisations set up to improve the health of the district’s population, reduce hospital admissions and tackle long-term conditions.

Prof Berwick visited Carleton Court to find out how Connecting Care is working with people in residential homes.

He said: “The passion that these people feel for that mission is truly extraordinary and they are getting results. Today we have seen some results in reduction of A&E use, reduction of hospital bed day use.

“They prove that compassionate, team- based, patient centred care in the care home setting can enrich lives and preserve health.”

The event included presentations from Age UK Wakefield District, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust, Wakefield District Housing and St George’s Community Centre in Lupset.

Dr Phil Earnshaw, chairman of NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The visit was a huge success and showcased the work we are undertaking.

“We are immensely proud of the journey we have been on, but this is just the start.

“We hope over the coming months and years we will develop the system further to be a trailblazer on the possibilities that new models of care can deliver.”

In the US Prof Berwick was appointed by former president Barack Obama as administrator of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Service.

In 2013 he carried out a review of patient safety in the NHS on behalf of former Prime Minister David Cameron.

He made a series of recommendations, including that staffing levels are adequate and complaints systems improved.

Last February, Prof Berwick called for the government to apologise during a row with junior doctors over new contracts.