Introduction by Professor Marcus Longley, Director of WIHSC and Professor of Applied Health Policy
In this week’s blog in our ‘20 blogs for 20 years series’, to mark the Institute’s 20th anniversary, Justin poses a suitably provocative challenge: getting people discharged from hospital is actually quite simple, if we are prepared to think differently about how it’s done. If some health and social care communities can do it, why can’t we all? Justin is a Visiting Professor at WIHSC, and his experience is in the private sector provision of services around health and social care.
Home Again: Discharge and Recovery – the integrated way
Ever wondered why a patient remains in hospital after the consultant has confirmed that they are clinically ok to go home? If you haven’t then don’t read on, it won’t matter to you.
If you are still reading (which I hope everyone is) it’s because of us, people, the system, everyone wanting to do the right thing (except making sure that the discharge will immediately happen).
Discharge teams don’t have enough assessors to get an assessment done for every patient when they need it (holidays, training, sickness, meetings etc) and occupational therapists have the same time challenges. The hospital transport system doesn’t do individual runs to suit the patient whilst the hospital pharmacy doesn’t open to suit every patient. By the time the whole system is in alignment ….it can be several days or even weeks. And then are the family members or responsible carer willing to receive their loved one home?
All we need to get an immediate discharge done, to suit the patient, is a small team of trained Healthcare Nursing Assistants, led by a nurse, who handle everything for the patients, assessment, pharmacy pick-up, home transport and looking after the patient for up to a week afterwards.
Impossible, it can’t be that easy, can it? Yes it can, and it is safer and cheaper than keeping the patient in hospital.
This service is being used in a hospital in South Kent; it works, patients love it, clinicians love it, social services love it.
Perhaps it will come to a hospital near you sometime soon…..
By Justin Jewitt