Teams from the NHS, social care and voluntary sector are working together, to come up with innovative ways to improve care for people and reduce pressures on health and care services. One example of a small scheme but with big potential, has been developed by Lancashire City Council, NHS England and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay, and has so far helped 106 patients and reduced the need for more than 379 nights stay in hospital and 231 nights stay in a Discharge to Assess placement.
The Hospital Discharge Home Recovery Scheme helps people across Lancashire return home from hospital in a safe and timely way and is working so well it is now being extended, with other regions looking at it with interest.
It works by giving family and friends practical and financial support to enable informal care to be provided for up to six weeks, with input from the local carers service. It can include a grant through which one-off items or services can be purchased to help people recuperate safely at home.
Over an initial 6-month period it has helped 26 people to return home more quickly and has reduced the need for 67 nights stays in a hospital bed.
The scheme is incrementally being extended across Lancashire and is aimed at people who need some support to recover or recuperate, but who otherwise would have been delayed in hospital until a package of care could be arranged. A further 80 people have been supported through the scheme,53 to return home more quickly reducing the need for a further 279 nights stay in hospital and 231 nights stay in a Discharge to assess placement, and 27 to remain in their home safely. The scheme has also just been extended to include discharges supported by the community Mental Health Teams across Lancashire.
As well as helping people return home to continue their recovery, the scheme also benefits the flow of patients in hospital and limits the need for formal care at a time when both areas are under increasing pressures due to the pandemic.
Local partners believe the potential of the scheme is significant, not just for the release of bed nights in the hospitals, but importantly in better and more personalised outcomes for people.