A multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach provides individuals with care and support needs with access to the right care when they need it. The MDT improves the care of residents living with frailty who have complex needs by making full use of the knowledge and skills of team members from multiple disciplines and service providers. The MDT approach also ensures that residents with complex needs have access to expert advice. In Newcastle Gateshead this is achieved by our virtual ward approach where the GPs and nurse specialists have rapid access to Community Geriatricians and an Old Age Psychiatrist for expert advice and complex decision making. The virtual ward works in conjunction with our enhanced primary care service to ensure high quality coordinated care delivery to care home residents.

Our story

Sustainable change takes time and in Newcastle and Gateshead our care home journey started long before we were part of NHS England’s New Care Models’ Vanguard Programme. In fact, the vanguard years represent only two in a ten year journey. Without doubt however some things wouldn’t have happened as well, or have happened at all if we hadn’t been fortunate enough to have been part of the programme. We wouldn’t have established an excellent clinical engagement forum with representation from 9 organisations and 8 different disciplines. We wouldn’t therefore have been able to quickly grow a common understanding of the need to delve deeply into our data nor link education, commissioning and provision. We definitely wouldn’t have made the care improvements we did at the time that we did. That said however we had a good base, we knew the clinical evidence base, understood the needs of the people living in care homes and had some of the right people working in the system.  Take a look at our animation film to learn more about our journey and see for yourself how national directives, local intelligence, formal evidence  and people all influence what happens to older people living in care homes.   

For further information please contact Lesley Bainbridge, Lead Nurse Older People, NGCCG

Virtual Ward

This is a short film that gives an overview of how the virtual ward MDT in Gateshead works to provide expert advice and coordinated care to care home residents.


A personal story demonstrating how Newcastle Gateshead CCG is working in partnership to deliver enhanced health care to care home residents.