|We all know ‘joined-up care’ must happen to ‘save’ the NHS!|
An NHS programme in Somerset has helped patients avoid 7,500 nights in hospital and freed up at least £2m for other services.
Somerset’s pioneering ‘Homefirst’ scheme offers patients who are healthy enough (& their families) tailored help to finish therapy at home, with personalised care reducing stays in hospital by up to ten days.
Described by health leaders as ‘a common sense approach’, Homefirst is delivered by specialist teams of staff who have been given additional training in a range of care techniques, so they can do more with patients once they are home, to help them regain independence faster.
The NHS’ long term plan, unveiled this week, set out how care will be increasingly integrated across communities, with different health services, councils & other agencies working together to provide faster, more convenient and more joined-up care within each community.
In Somerset, instead of waiting to complete assessments, such as walking the ward, in a busy unfamiliar place, people for whom it’s safe to do so can be discharged home at the right time and get support for important tasks, based on their home and enabling a quicker and happier recovery.
The team see patients on the wards at both Somerset’s acute hospitals, involving families about when a patient is ready to go home and liaise with medical & nursing staff to ensure patients are comfortable & happy that they can be discharged safely.Tim Baverstock, who led the scheme for Somerset County Council, yesterday said: ….. “previously paperwork and assessments could have meant waiting weeks. But while the patient waits their mobility and independence reduces and causes frustration – a person over 80 who spends 10 days in hospital loses 10 per cent of muscle mass equivalent to 10 years of ageing.”