Hospital to a Healthier Home pilot delivers great results

The ‘Hospital to a Healthier Home’ winter pilot scheme, delivered by Care & Repair, ran from eleven hospitals across Wales from mid-January to March. The scheme aimed to support vulnerable older people to be safely and more quickly discharged from hospitals to their homes and prevent them being re-admitted by making their homes safe, warm and more accessible.

An evaluation report on the scheme clearly demonstrates the link between health and housing and the positive impact the service delivered for older people, and hospitals.  

Chris Jones, CEO of Care & Repair Cymru said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to run this pilot and the evaluation report demonstrates the impact our Hospital to a Healthier Home service delivered, both for patients and the NHS.  

“Having a safe, warm and suitably adapted home to return to after a hospital stay is so important and can help reduce the risk of being re-admitted to hospital. The patient stories and NHS staff testimonials within the evaluation help paint the picture of the strong impact our service has had far better than any statistics.”

The Hospital to a Healthier Home service is a Welsh Government and National Programme for Unscheduled Care collaborative project, originally funded as part of £4m allocated to support health services over the winter period by testing new models of care. 

It comprises of a dedicated Care & Repair Caseworker based at each hospital to facilitate practical improvements to a patient’s home and enable quicker safe discharge from a hospital bed. The Caseworkers also offer practical support and advice on issues such as  benefit entitlements,, making their homes warmer and more affordable to heat, as well as referring patients at risk of isolation or loneliness into local community clubs or groups.

Headline data from the pilot is;

  • 626 patients referred through the Hospital to a Healthier Home service;
  • 320 patients received help to claim all the benefits they were entitled resulting in £120,472 of benefits being accessed, with more cases still being processed;
  • 508 patients received work costing £141,472 through RRAP (Rapid Response Adaptation Programme) that facilitated quicker hospital discharge;
  • 266 patients who responded to a self-assessment survey said the work undertaken helped them return home quicker and live more independently.

Following the emerging success of the scheme, the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething has approved an extension to Hospital to a Healthier Home until the end of March 2020.