Good news! Hospital 2 Home pack - What can you do?
CIH Director of Health and Wellbeing, Domini Gunn, introduces the new Hospital 2 Home pack and explains how housing organisations can use it to make their tenants' return home from hospital easier.The new Hospital 2 Home pack is designed to make it easier for housing, health and social care professionals involved in hospital discharge to support older patients in returning home safely after a hospital stay and reduce the risk of readmission to hospital. It was produced by a Task and Finish group involving Care & Repair England, Chartered Institute of Housing, Housing Learning and Improvement Network, Royal College of Nursing, College of Occupational Therapists, British Geriatrics Society, ADASS, British Red Cross, Age UK, Foundations, The Local Government Association and the Kings Fund. It was supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health. CIH is proud to have been invited to chair this group.
Speaking at the October 2012 National Children and Adult Services Conference (NCAS), Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:
"We recognise that any delay in being able to leave hospital after treatment is distressing for patients and costly to the NHS. People need to be able to return to a home that is safe, warm and meets their needs, and this is particularly important in the case of older people. In order to achieve this health, housing and social care must work in partnership."
The Hospital 2 Home resource contains information, advice, case studies and checklists to help health, housing and social care professionals provide the right care for older patients. The resource aims to improve the experience of staying in hospital and returning home for both older patients and their carers.
For most of us, a hospital stay is a necessary and sometimes urgent need. We look forward to being able to return home to recover fully in comfort. But, for a significant number of older people, a return home is fraught with difficulty. For some it is the return home that triggers trauma, distress and further deterioration to health and wellbeing.
Case studies reveal incidences of older people being discharged to cold, damp homes with no food; problems with accessing bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms due to reduced mobility; isolation and loneliness; and no or slow provision of minor aids and adaptations. Timely, multi- agency hospital discharge planning can help to avoid this pain and distress and as housing professionals we have a role to play.
In addition to the emotional and physical pain caused by unplanned and unsustainable hospital discharge to an inadequate, inaccessible and unsupported home there are significant, and in many cases avoidable, costs to the NHS. In the current context of the urgent need to save money this represents very poor value for money and a missed opportunity to achieve efficiencies whilst dramatically improving outcomes for older people.
Useful health information
Department of Health data shows that during March 2012 over 71,000 days were lost because of delayed hospital discharge. The figure represents a rise of 7.5% compared with the same month last year.
Figures obtained by the BBC showed that the number of delays had risen by about 10% in the preceding 12 months. These latest statistics, released by the Department of Health, suggest that the rise is continuing - with a consequent financial impact on the system.
The cost to the NHS of keeping a patient in hospital when they are ready to be released is estimated at £260 a day. That means the delays in March 2012 would have cost about £18.5m.
More than 70% of hospital bed days are occupied by emergency admissions.
10% of patients admitted as emergencies stay for more than two weeks, but account for 55 % of bed days.
80% of emergency admissions who stay for more than two weeks are patients aged over 65.
What can you do?
- Read the Hospital 2 Home pack
- Provide the link to your colleagues & partners
- Use your website to promote the pack
- Write your own blogs and tweets and use any internal news bulletins to highlight the pack
- Use the pack to raise the issue at staff, senior management and Board meetings and training sessions
- Make sure that this issue is incorporated into your adult safeguarding policy and practices
- Consider working with other housing providers and with health and social care partners to create a local Hospital 2 Home task group
- Discuss and evaluate hospital discharge policy and practices in your locality
- Revisit any protocols in place against the pack and revise if needed
- Prepare a draft local hospital 2 home discharge protocol
- Prepare a briefing paper for your key partners in health, social care and voluntary sector agencies
We are keen to receive your views and examples of positive practice in this area. Please contact Sarah Davis with examples of your work.
CIH consultancy can offer advice and support on a wide range of health and wellbeing issues including the development and delivery of a local housing offer for health and wellbeing. Find out more