Health and care partners across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have launched a new initiative that will see more patients leaving hospital earlier in the day, so they can be Home for Lunch... When they're ready to come home, make sure you are, too.
Home for your Health
Keeping patients in hospital beds when they no longer require hospital care has a profound negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing, particularly for older patients. This is because functional decline is a very real risk.
Did you know:
- For patients over the age of 80, a week in bed can lead to 10 years of muscle ageing.
- Prolonged bed rest is thought to reduce the ability to walk independently for between 16- 65% of older people.
- The longer the stay in hospital, the greater risk of contracting in-ward viruses and infections.
By getting them home sooner, it means patients are in the best place possible for their recovery, away from the risk of catching viruses or infections, back on their feet and rebuilding muscle mass and mobility.
Home so we can help others
As well as being detrimental to patients, avoidable delays in discharge (even of just a few hours) adds significant operational pressure to hospital sites across the two counties. It prevents the admission of patients who are acutely unwell and do need a bed, so they can begin treatment under the care of the appropriate specialist team. Those delays, in turn, contribute to dangerous congestion in our Emergency Departments, lengthy ambulance handovers, and deteriorating 999 response times.
Getting patients home earlier in the day will not only help to reduce their risk of harm, it will also help to free up capacity across the whole system.
- Wards will have space to receive patients in the afternoon, so more beds are available.
- Ambulances can offload patients sooner, so paramedics can then get back out into the community, rather than wait outside hospitals.
- This means that Staff can give the vital care to those that need it.
How do you get home?
It's important that patients, and those coming to pick them up, know that a morning discharge is expected, and that specialist transport is only available to patients in exceptional circumstances. Cars, taxis and community and public transport are the expected modes of leaving hospital. Patients should be encouraged to plan how they intend to get home early in their hospital stay.
Below is some useful information so you can plan that all important journey home.