The local NHS in East Sussex is working together to make sure that patients spend no longer than they need to in hospital.
The ‘Let’s Get You Home’ initiative supports people to return home quickly and safely. If this is not possible, it supports the move to an alternative setting, such as a care home or a community rehabilitation bed, once treatment in hospital is complete.
The initiative involves members of staff having earlier conversations with patients – usually within 24 hours of being admitted – about how they will leave hospital and being given clear information about the options available.
As well as supporting patients to recover more quickly, Let’s Get You Home is helping hospitals including, Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH, have beds available through winter, when more people are ill or have accidents. All NHS hospitals have a duty to ensure that their beds are occupied only by people who need treatment there.
There is a lot of evidence to show that patients recover better away from hospital:
- Resting in bed even for short periods can cause patients to lose strength in their muscles.
- Patients may become used to living in hospital, leaving them less able to manage in their own homes
- Hospitals work hard to prevent infections but can’t eliminate the risk of a patient catching one which they may be ill-equipped to resist.
Hospital staff and local council adult services teams will be working more closely with each other to ensure patients have the care and support they need to return home or go to an alternative setting if they can’t go home.
There will also be more assessments on people’s long-term care needs taking place in their own homes, where they can be assessed more accurately, rather than in hospital.
All of this is aimed to help people to recover better outside of a hospital when they are well enough to leave.
There is information available for patients and families which explains the initiative, the conversations that will take place, and the options available for local people outside of hospital.