National interest in our Care Homes Vanguard

National interest in our Care Homes Vanguard

Work in east and north Hertfordshire care homes to keep frail, elderly residents out of hospital, particularly in the winter months was demonstrated to Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, chair of NHS England and non-executive director Wendy Becker when they visited Welwyn Garden City last week. 

They saw at first hand how the Care Homes Vanguard programme is already showing success in fewer attendances/admission to hospital from the county’s 92 care homes.

After an initial briefing by the Vanguard partners - East and North Hertfordshire CCG, Hertfordshire Care Providers Association and Hertfordshire County Council - they visited St Andrews Care Home, Welwyn Garden City to talk to care home staff and different teams involved in the programme.

The Vanguard focuses on making a real difference to people living in care homes by improving their health and wellbeing and reducing the number of emergency attendances/admissions to hospital.

At the heart of the programme is better training for care home staff - designated as ‘champions’ - to give them confidence in dealing with the complex care needs of frail, elderly residents and in discussing these needs with clinical professionals such as GPs, nurses and pharmacists.
The principles of the project are being extended to the wider community via the flagship HomeFirst model which enables frail, elderly patients to receive care in their own homes.

St Andrews Care Home, Welwyn Garden City is part of the B&M group and is a purpose-built 70 bed residential and dementia care home. It embraces all elements of the Vanguard programme.

Dr Hari Pathmanathan, Chair of East and North Hertfordshire CCG Board and a Hertfordshire GP said:

“It’s great to see our Vanguard receiving national NHS recognition. The programme is showing some excellent results in supporting frail elderly patients both in care homes and in the wider community. Initiatives such as training for care home staff, our Early Intervention Vehicle, medicines optimisation team and HomeFirst are helping to keep elderly people safe and well in their own homes instead of going to hospital.”


  • Our Care Homes Vanguard is a partnership between East and North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Care Providers Association, working together to improve the health and wellbeing of frail, elderly people in our community.
  • The attached photo shows (left to right) Wendy Becker, non-Executive Director NHS England, Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, chair of NHS England, Mark Giddens, Emergency Care Practitioner, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and Mark Stellitano, Physiotherapist, EEAST.
  • Read more about our Vangurd project at