NHS hails scheme which reduces hospital stays

Homefirst scheme saves money and reduces hospital stays

Published on 21st January 2019

A programme aimed at reducing stays in hospital and focusing on care provided in the home has freed up at least £2 million for other services, the NHS has said.

The ‘Homefirst’ scheme in Somerset offers patients who are healthy enough, and their families, tailored help to finish therapy at home, with personalised care reducing stays in hospital by up to ten days.

Homefirst is delivered by specialist teams who have been given additional training in a range of care techniques, so they can do more with patients once they are home, to help them regain independence faster.

The scheme has helped avoid 7,500 nights in hospital and freed up at least £2 million for other services.

Under the scheme, instead of waiting to complete assessments, such as walking the ward, in hospital, people for whom it’s safe to do so can be discharged home at the right time and get support for important tasks, based on their home and enabling a quicker and happier recovery.

In both acute hospitals in Somerset, the teams see patients and families on the wards to discusswhen a patient is ready to go home and liaise with medical and nursing staff to ensure patients are comfortable and happy that they can be discharged safely.

Tim Baverstock, who led the scheme for Somerset County Council, said: “We’ve found that all it can take to avoid a long hospital stay is a frank conversation with the patient and family to learn more about how they can manage at home and their wishes.

“If someone starts to recover they often want to go home and previously paperwork and assessments could have meant waiting weeks. But while the patient waits their mobility and independence reduces and causes frustration – a person over 80 who spends 10 days in hospital loses 10 per cent of muscle mass equivalent to 10 years of ageing. We wanted to bring an end to that," he added.

Share this article:

Back to top
Subscribe to Locum Today
Post a comment

Receive the latest interviews, features and news stories in the Locum Today monthly email newsletter, designed and produced for locum social workers in the UK.

Type in your email address below and click Subscribe.

Leave a comment

Latest articles

10 things you should think about before becoming a locum social worker

10 things you should think about before becoming a locum social worker

Published on 07 January 2016

BASW professional officer Sue Kent and Tricia Gbinigie, business development officer for Independent and Locum Social Workers at BASW provide their Top 10 Tips on things to consider before becoming a locum or independent social worker.

10 Top Tips for successful report writing

10 Top Tips for successful report writing

Published on 10 December 2015

Sue Kent, professional officer at BASW, provides locum social workers with 10 Top Tips for successful report writing.