‘Common sense’ social care scheme helps patients avoid 7,500 nights in hospital

A “common sense” scheme which has helped patients avoid thousands of nights in hospital and saved £2 million will help the NHS make the best use of every penny, health leaders said.

The “pioneering” Homefirst programme in Somerset offers patients who are healthy enough and their families the support they need to finish their treatments at home.

The project began in September 2017 and is delivered by specialist teams made up of physio and occupational therapists and social care providers to complete a patient’s rehabilitation at home.

It works with patients and their families on the wards of Musgrove Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital to make sure they can be discharged home safely and then provide the rest of their care there.

The team provides daily visits to the patients until they have regained their independence or have a long-term care plan in place, including therapy for mobility issues and help to look after themselves.

The project is jointly funded by Somerset County Council and the NHS across Musgrove Hospital, Yeovil District Hospital and Somerset Partnership trust.

The NHS said the personalised care in people’s homes has helped reduce stays in hospital by up to 10 days, avoiding 7,500 nights in hospital, and saved the local health system £2 million which can be spent on other services.

NHS England said similar schemes to the Homefirst model have been launched in Cornwall, Staffordshire, Plymouth and Epsom in Surrey.

Dr Karen Kirkham (pictured), NHS England’s national clinical adviser for primary care, said schemes like this will be at the heart of implementing the long-term plan for the health service which was published on January 8.

She added: “As we deliver on the long-term plan for the NHS, it is common sense schemes like this which are being rolled out across the country to get the best care for patients and make the best use of every penny.

“By finding out more about a patient’s circumstances at home we can tailor the care they get.”

The long-term plan set out how the NHS will invest the extra £20.5 billion a year by 2023-24 promised by Prime Minister Theresa May.

It said care will be increasingly integrated across communities, with different health services, councils and other agencies working together to provide faster, more convenient and more joined-up care within each community.

In some areas, the NHS and local government are joining forces to pool resources and budgets and simplify systems for the patient across primary and secondary care, NHS England said.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) You Tube.