Two schemes which allow patients to receive hospital treatment at home and supports others to manage their long-term condition where they live, are to be expanded to cover the whole of Herefordshire.
Introduced in the summer of 2013 in Hereford city, the “hospital at home” scheme allows some patients to receive care in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes instead of having to spend time on a hospital ward.
A second scheme, known as “proactive case management” helps patients better cope with their long-term health conditions.
Both schemes have proved immensely popular with patients and their families from the outset and a comprehensive evaluation undertaken by the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed that both schemes have been a success and provided excellent value for money.
Sharon Mayglothling, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s head of nursing for care closer to home, said: “Patients and carers have told us how much they have benefited from the care and support they have received from the teams and I’m delighted that we can now offer the same service to patients wherever they live within Herefordshire.”
Through proactive case management, some patients with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been helped to better understand and manage their own health condition.
“One patient has told us how he and his wife are far better able to assess when he needs medical attention. They have a care plan which helps them anticipate this and as a result the number of times he has needed to see his doctor has reduced significantly.”
During its first nine months of operation, patients using the scheme reduced their reliance on GPs by around 40 per cent, reduced the amount of care needed in hospital by 35 per cent and saw a 40 per cent reduction in emergency admissions.
The hospital at home scheme has two key priorities: To work with patients and provide packages of care which mean they avoid having to go into hospital in the first place, or providing support which allows patients to be discharged early and receive care in their homes.
It has also allowed patients needing intravenous antibiotics to remain at home and gives support to other patients with up to five visits a day to help prevent admission to hospital, or to allow them to leave hospital early to recover at home.
“One patient told me that he was just sitting in hospital waiting to get better from an infection. With our input he was pleased to be able to be at home with his family and friends and free up a hospital bed for someone who was in greater need,” said Sharon.
To ensure the scheme provides the right care for patients at home, a local multi-disciplinary clinical team consisting of matrons, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and support workers has been established.
The 30-strong team work closely with local GPs, neighbourhood teams and hospital consultants to ensure patients continue to receive the right care at the right time.
“This means that patients receiving treatment through the scheme have access to fully-qualified staff delivering personalised health care. It will be the same standard of care they could expect on one of our hospital wards. The only difference will be that they’ll be in the comfort of their own home,” added Sharon.
Simon Hairsnape, accountable officer at Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “I’m really pleased with the success of both these schemes. Hospitals are the wrong place to be for people who can be better looked after in their own homes, alongside their friends and family.
“Feedback has been extremely positive, and I’m delighted that the whole county will now benefit from the new arrangements.”
Sharon Mayglothling, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s head of nursing for care closer to home, right, with some of the team delivering the expanded hospital at home scheme across Herefordshire.
Note to editor:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is the provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £160 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Fiona Gurney, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.