Successful project gets over-65s home from hospital as soon as possible

More than 60 people have been able to return home earlier than planned from hospital in the last three months, thanks to an innovative scheme which aims to prevent those aged over 65 staying in hospital longer than necessary. 

Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, reablement officers and others work alongside a wide range of hospital clinicians and therapists to ensure those who are medically fit are able to leave hospital and return home as soon as possible. An assessment is then carried out on the day the patient returns home and a comprehensive support package is set up. 

The Supported Home Discharge project – launched in October – is coordinated by NELFT (North East London Foundation Trust), working with NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (WF CCG), London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) and Bart’s Health NHS Trust. 

WF CCG Chair Dr Anwar Khan said: “The ongoing health and care needs of many people over 65 are often best assessed in their own home. The Supported Home Discharge team provides the skills and expertise to assess people’s needs while they are in hospital, arrange a package of care that enables them to return home, visit patients in their home and set objectives that mean people can live independently again as soon as possible. This might mean help getting around at home, washing, dressing and other activities, preparing drinks and meals or managing medication.” 

The successful scheme is the result of national research into similar care pathways under the umbrella term Discharge to Assess. The Supported Home Discharge project continues to build on its success by developing new and innovative ways to ensure those over 65 years old only stay in hospital when absolutely necessary and are able to return home as soon as possible.