Hospital @ Home is a local service which started on 5th December 2011 in the Budleigh and Exmouth areas. It is designed to provide health and social care for people in their own homes, who would otherwise need to be in hospital.
The service is for patients aged over 18 who have extended care and health needs. This could mean patients recently discharged from hospital, who require rehabilitation and support to regain independence after a fall or other medical problem, after assessment they could receive support in their own home - rather than going into a care home or community hospital. It could also mean that some people will be supported to remain at home, rather than be admitted to hospital unnecessarily. The service has access to a consultant and doctors but led by a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, occupational therapists and community care workers from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.
Nicky Wood, Community Nurse Team Leader, November 2015
Dr Richard Mejzner said: "As healthcare professionals, we know that many of our patients, particularly the frail and elderly, end up being admitted to hospital when in reality their healthcare issues could have been dealt with in the local community. We have invested in our community services to help prevent unnecessary admissions to hospitals. This service will also mean patients can be discharged earlier to their own home where their care will continue."
Dr Anthony Hemsley, Lead consultant geriatrician at the Royal Devon & ExeterHospital said: "Patients with cognitive impairment and dementia respond better when their care and rehabilitation is provided in the familiar surroundings of their own homes. We intend to provide the same quality of care and consultant involvement the patient would have received on a specialist hospital ward, prevent unnecessary and often stressful admission to hospital and enable prompt discharge back home.”
To date there have been over 500 patients cared for by Hospital @ Home with an average of 14 days “stay”.
Feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive as they feel that they have been provided with the care they need at home where they would rather be. There have been some wonderful success stories and the service will continue to be delivered in its current format for the time being, whilst discussions take place with health and social care commissioners around future funding.