More patients to receive NHS Hospital treatment at Home

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

People living in and around Bristol are getting acute healthcare in the comfort of their own homes under a new initiative from North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT).

Backed by research showing patients recover faster in comfortable and familiar environments, the NBT “Hospital at Home” service has been caring for some surgical patients in their own home instead of a hospital bed.

Since launching in January, a team of team of specially-trained nurses has been working closely with eligible patients and their doctors to develop personalised care plans.

Patients get frequent visits at least once a day and ongoing telephone support, and remain under the care of their consultant until they are ready to be discharged, as they would on a ward.

In the past three months, 100 patients, all living within 45 minutes’ drive of Southmead Hospital, have been treated and discharged through the scheme. There has been excellent feedback from patients who have said they have felt more relaxed, felt more in control of their own lives and enjoyed being with their families. It has also freed-up beds for other patients, and saved an estimated 483 bed days so far.

Reston Smith, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia said:

“We know people don’t like being away from home and spending longer in hospital than necessary. Patients suitable for Hospital at Home can benefit from their home comforts whilst receiving the same excellent healthcare from our team. We can easily adapt the service, and always continue their care in a hospital setting if needed”.

The Hospital at Home initiative goes hand in hand with NBT work on the national #EndPJParalysis campaign, backed by Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England. As part of this, ward staff aim to get patients up, dressed in their own clothes and moving to boost their recovery and ensure they do not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital.

Studies have shown that a 50% increase in walking while in hospital was associated with a 6% shorter length of stay and  10 days of bed rest in hospital (acute or community) leads to the equivalent of 10 years aging in the muscles of people over 80.

The aim is that on the day patients are admitted to hospital, they receive an estimated date of discharge, so they can go home as early as possible and make the necessary arrangements with relatives and carers. 
Director of Nursing Sue Jones said:

“Hospital is often the last place patients want to be but sadly too many people experience delays and longer periods of hospitalisation than necessary. Getting patients up and dressed in their own clothes can make a huge difference to their physical recovery and mental well-being.”