Hospital to a Healthier Home Recognised for its Important Role in Freeing up Hospital Beds
Care & Repair’s hospital discharge project has been recognised for its valuable contribution in freeing up hospital beds and easing NHS pressures.
The Hospital to a Healthier Home project has supported over 5,000 patients in the last year and has now been awarded another year of funding from local Welsh Health Boards.
The innovative project helps older people to return home from hospital quicker and safer by carrying out simple home repairs and adaptations.
Project Manager, Faye Patton, said: “We are delighted to have received local funding for this service. This means our specialist Hospital to a Healthier Home caseworkers can continue their excellent work making sure older people can leave hospital safely and speedily into homes that are ready for their continued recovery.
Operating out of 17 hospitals across five Health Boards, it is estimated that the project has saved 25,000 hospital bed days in Wales in the last three years. With the latest NHS figures showing that there are over 700,000 people in Wales waiting to start treatment, services like Hospital to a Healthier Home are critical for easing waiting times and aiding patient flow.
Central to the success of Hospital to a Healthier Home is its Healthy Home Checks. These are carried out for each patient’s home prior to discharge and can highlight any potential issues the patient might encounter once home. For example, an electrical socket may need to be fitted so that medical equipment can be installed, or handrails may be needed along steps to ensure safety during the persons recovery.
Started in Bridgend in 2014, the project helps people like Susan. At 77-years-old, Susan suffered a severe stroke which affected her speech and ability to do daily tasks. Whilst she was recovering at Nevill Hall Hospital, in Abergavenny, an Occupational Therapist referred her to the Hospital to a Healthier Home project. This was initially to provide an electrical socket in her front lounge for a hospital bed. However, a Healthy Home Check revealed that, once in place, the hospital bed would obstruct the lounge door due to the layout of the room. Care & Repair were able to arrange for a Contractor to remove the door and fit a curtain pole for a heavy curtain to be hung in its place.
The Hospital to a Healthier Home caseworkers also support patients in claiming the benefits that they are entitled to. Last year, the project saw over 400 successful benefit claims, totally an increase of £1.7m of additional annual income for patients.
Using the success of the Hospital to Healthier Home project, Care & Repair Cymru were able to give evidence for the Senedd consultation into Hospital discharge and its impact on patient flow through hospitals.
Chris Jones, Care & Repair Cymru Chief Officer, shared that through the Covid-19 pandemic the project didn’t stop but instead experienced greater demand. “In the early stages there was a big push, rightly, to empty hospitals and create bed spaces. So, our Hospital to a Healthier Home service got really busy, albeit our caseworkers were remote [working]. What we've seen over a couple of years is that demand has increased.”
To find out more about Hospital to a Healthier Home and to see if it operates in your area, please visit: www.careandrepair.org.uk/hospital
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Care & Repair Cymru
Care & Repair Cymru and the 13 Care & Repair Agencies across Wales, support over 40,000 older people every year. We believe that no older person should live in cold, unsafe housing. We carry out thousands of home adaptations and repairs for older people, keeping them safe from accidents or helping in discharging them from hospital.
Working in partnership with the NHS and local authorities, we identify older people most at risk, and then step in to prevent their increasing dependency on the NHS and social care services.
Care & Repair champion the housing needs of older people living in owner occupied and private rented housing. We do this by providing expertise, advocacy and evidence to support investment that ensures all older people in Wales can live independently and safely at home.
About Hospital to a Healthier Home
Care & Repair’s innovative Hospital to a Healthier Home service ensures that older people are discharged from hospital into a home fit for their needs.
The service works directly with hospital staff to identify older patients’ housing problems quickly after they have been admitted. They are then connected to their local Care & Repair Agency who ensure they return to a safe, warm, and accessible home.
Key to the success of the service is that it improves patient flow, reduces re-admission rates, and ensures speed of delivery – the majority of works critical to discharge are achieved within 15 working days.
Our service has expanded across Wales and is now working out of 17 different hospitals, and employing 13 specialised Hospital to a Healthier Home Caseworkers who are integrated into hospital discharge teams.
If you are interested in running this story, or setting up an interview with Faye Patton, please contact our PR Officer:
PR & Marketing Officer
T: 07818 554 385
E: [email protected]