Care Homes

and DDHF

DDHF work closely with more than 20 care homes and our 12 member GP practices in Durham Dales.

We’re the first port of call for care homes when patients need assessment and treatment for any acute or chronic illnesses they may experience.

How it works

We provide a service to carry out visits and assessments for care home patients, on behalf of local GP practices.

When a request is made for a Doctor to visit, it will often be a clinician from our team who comes on behalf of the GP to see the patient.

Our team, GPs and care home staff all work closely together to make sure the care that patients receive is high-quality, joined up and consistent.

There is a single medical record shared with the patient’s GP practice, so everyone involved in their care has the same information.

How it helps

We provide an efficient and effective service that GP practices, care homes, patients, their families and carers can rely upon.

Our team comprises Health Care Assistants, plus Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Emergency Care Practitioners, with additional medical training to deal with many common conditions and prescribe medication.

Care homes have a direct line to our team for advice and guidance. Monitoring plans created in partnership with care home staff reduce unnecessary home visits.

Our team emphasise the importance of Emergency Health Care Plans (EHCPs) to give peace of mind for patients and their families or carers.

An EHCP is a detailed list of what to do in certain situations, made by clinicians and patients, or in the interests of those without capacity to make decisions. It gives dignity to patients by recording their preferences, and ensuring they are met.


While our team is there to visit patients, provide treatment and arrange hospital admissions and discharges, we are always looking at ways to improve patient care and avoid needless interventions.

We identified that there was no standardised way of exchanging clinical information, which led to miscommunication and unnecessary visits and admissions. 

A pilot scheme with set information and observations recorded digitally on a tablet lead to a 40% reduction in one care home. 

Information entered into the programme was securely stored and automatically shared with the patient’s GP.

The system, Health Call, has been adopted in many more care homes, ensuring patients receive complete, consistent and continuity in their care.

You can read a case study on the development of Health Call here.