The first group of ‘frailty aware’ professionals can better spot and treat people experiencing frailty, following completion of the first round of specialist training implemented by Integrated Care Across Northamptonshire (iCAN).

The training sees experts in frailty care from across our local health and care system deliver sessions in partnership with the University of Northampton. The ‘Improving Frailty Outcomes’ training module is designed to provide senior managers across all health and care professions with effective leadership frailty training.

The course aims to equip learners with the knowledge to drive system change through broadening their professional awareness and understanding of frailty and building confidence in managing complexity for frail individuals.

Senior managers across all health and care professions gain an understanding of what frailty means while becoming more familiar with the processes of identification and assessment of frailty. There is also a focus on managing cases of frailty effectively through shared decision-making and system leadership. As a third cohort of learners prepares to begin the training, those who have now completed the programme as part of its first intake earlier in the year have been reflecting on their positive experiences.

Yvonne Butler is an Advanced Specialist Physiotherapist in Kettering and is one of the first ‘crop’ of more iCAN frailty aware ‘graduates’. She said: “I wanted to complete the frailty module as in my role I am seeing an increasing number of frail service users with complex health and social needs. I found the course very beneficial for increasing my knowledge and awareness.

“I feel much more aware of the bigger picture around frailty management within Northamptonshire and how different services within the county are approaching this. It was a great opportunity to meet with professionals from different sectors, from GPs, hospital staff, community staff, and the voluntary sector.

“I also feel this course has increased my awareness and my confidence in supporting service users and motivated me to make positive changes with the Intermediate Care Team, knowing that other professionals are aiming for the same thing and I hope we can work collaboratively moving forward.”

Priyanka Patel is also an Advanced Specialist Physiotherapist based in Kettering and part of the first cohort. She adds: “The Frailty Module was a great opportunity to combine all members of the health sector from the primary, secondary, and community aspect. It gave us an opportunity to understand the limitations and challenges each of us faces daily, which was more similar than expected!

“The key aim we all felt we needed to work towards was to find and create a mutual way to communicate and share patient’s journeys to avoid repetition, delays and ultimately provide the patient with a high-quality level of care. The team at Kettering General Hospital, and in particular the Rehab Team I work with, has been working alongside our Frailty Therapists and as their team expands, we are planning to create a pathway link to increase Therapy intervention within the acute setting, as well as follow these patients on at home.

“It was useful to see how all the ‘bricks’ gel together to form the key pillars of better health and care provision across Northamptonshire.”