Hospital at Home Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits for patients?

Hospital at Home provides safe, effective person-centred care, equivalent to that received in an acute hospital setting, but delivered in the comfort of the patient’s own home.  Research show that recovery is much faster in a familiar, comfortable environment and patients of the NBT Hospital at Home service will get an individually tailored treatment plan and will remain under the care of their consultant until they have finished their treatment.

How will you identify what patients can use this service?

Patients who are eligible to be treated at home will be referred by members of the ward medical and nursing teams, and the NBT Hospital at Home team will work with the wards to assess if they may be appropriate to be part of the service.

What training have the nurses completed?

The team of ten nurses have been selected for the specialist skills they have gained from their experience working at NBT. The team has a broad range of experience and are capable of delivering the care required in patient’s own homes.  

Has this service been tested before and is it safe?

The concept of delivering acute healthcare within the home is new to North Bristol NHS Trust but there are examples of similar, successful services across the UK being run at other hospitals. The team visited University Hospital Coventry who have been running this service for several years.  We will continue to regularly review and monitor the service during implementation.

What patients are eligible to be part of this service?

The Hospital at Home team have a broad range of nursing experience and can deliver many acute healthcare interventions to patients within their own home. Patients will need to live within a 45 minute drive of Southmead Hospital, and each referral will be assessed on an individual basis taking into account their needs.

How are the team working in practice?

Patients who are assessed and deemed eligible for the service will be seen by a NBT Hospital at Home co-ordinator. The team will formulate an individual treatment plan with the referring medical team and assess if and how this can be delivered in the patient’s home. The patient will be presented with the plan and if they would like to continue their treatment at home then they will be transferred home and our expert team will visit them as per the agreed treatment plan.  If the patient wishes to speak to the team outside of an agreed visit there are a number of ways for them to get additional support. During office hours patients will be able to seek advice from the NBT Hospital at Home co-ordinator, the co-ordinator will determine the appropriate course of action for that patient and implement it.  Out of hours, the patient will contact the clinical hub and if necessary a transfer will be arranged back to NBT for assessment by the medical team.

What are the hours of operation?

The Hospital at Home service will be able to visit patients between the hours of 7am and 9.30pm.  The visits will be scheduled 24 hours in advance and patients will be informed of a time slot to expect the team. In the event of a change in the patient’s clinical condition then the number of visits and the agreed treatment plan may be changed to reflect this.

What if I need to speak to someone outside of my scheduled visit?

You will be given clear instructions on who to contact in the event of any concerns or problems and these will be included in the NBT Hospital at Home information sheet, which you will have in your home.  Between the hours of 7am and 6pm you will be able to contact the Hospital at Home Co-ordinator based in Southmead Hospital and you will have a direct number to reach the team.  Between the hours of 6pm and 7pm then you will be able to contact the clinical hub who will be able to facilitate transfer back into Southmead Hospital for review.  In the event of an emergency patients will be instructed to dial 999 to return to hospital urgently.

Is this because you don’t have enough beds to treat all the patients you need to?

No not at all, research shows that patients recover better and quicker in their own home. Many of the treatments that patients suitable for the Hospital at Home service are receiving can easily be delivered at home, allowing them to recuperate and recover in a comfortable and familiar environment. The Hospital at Home service wants to work with patients, striving to deliver excellent healthcare that puts you first and recognises your individual needs.

What happens if a patient needs to be readmitted due to deterioration in health?

Patients who are part of the Hospital at Home programme will not be discharged from North Bristol NHS Trust until they have completed their treatment programme. We recognise that during the course of a treatment plan, things may change and that on occasion, treatment plans may change to reflect this. If during your treatment, things change and we can no longer meet your healthcare needs in your own home, then we will arrange any necessary changes; this may include an increase in visits by the Hospital at Home team, early review in a clinic slot or even transfer back to an inpatient ward in Southmead Hospital.