Welsh Government report into hospital discharge recognises the important role of Care & Repair
A report this week, from Welsh Government’s Health and Social Care Committee, recognises the important role of Care & Repair’s Hospital to a Healthier Home project. Faye Patton, the project manager, welcomes the report:
Care & Repair Cymru welcome today's Welsh Government report into hospital discharge and its impact on patient flow through hospitals. We are pleased to see that it recognises the important role Care & Repair’s Hospital to a Healthier Home plays in safe hospital discharge and continued recovery.
The Essential Role of Housing
The report captures what we at Care & Repair know: housing plays an essential role in the discharge process and continued recovery of a patient.
It is vital that homes have been adapted to reflect a patients’ changing needs after a hospital admission, to allow for safe independent living at home and implementation of packages of care.
We were delighted to be able to explain to the Committee the crucial work that Hospital to a Healthier Home completes across Wales and the positive impact it has through adapting homes.
Hospital to a Healthier Home is a vital service that supports both NHS staff deal with pressures in their capacity, and patients alike. Last year, the project received over 5,000 referrals from hospital teams across Wales and saved the Welsh NHS in excess of 25,000 bed days by reducing a patients’ stay in hospital by an average of six days. Yet it is at the mercy of local, annual funding which can vary across Wales.
We believe the discharge process should be consistent across Wales, with core funding at its heart. This will allow examples of best practice, like Hospital to a Healthier Home to remain embedded, efficient and well-used.
With this in mind, we are particularly pleased to see the Report recommend the following:
The Welsh Government must ensure that the new Health & Social Care Regional Integration Fund is effective in identifying and mainstreaming successful projects which improve patient flow into common practice across Wales. The quarterly status reports should therefore include an assessment of progress in developing and rolling out projects to improve patient flow.
The Welsh Government should increase funding for reablement and home therapy services and work with partners to establish a comprehensive wrap-around rehabilitation service.
The Welsh Government should issue guidance to health boards, stressing that housing needs must be given higher priority in the hospital discharge process, and that housing organisations should be included in the multidisciplinary teams, as a matter of course.
Following our oral evidence session, we were grateful that the Committee wrote to Local Health Boards across Wales in support of the Hospital to a Healthier Home service and advocated for its continued funding.
Today’s report makes many credible recommendations to the Welsh Government and Welsh NHS, and in particular works to address the huge crisis Wales’ is facing recruiting and retaining social care staff. It is critical that housing continues to be recognised as a vital element of the discharge process, and services such as Hospital to a Healthier Home sustained.
- Faye Patton
Project Manager, Hospital to a Healthier Home
Read the full report on 'Hospital discharge and its impact on patient flow through hospitals' from the Health and Social Care Committee.