The ‘Helping You Home’ team was set up in 2017 to support the Integrated Discharge Team at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust to address the ‘bed blocking’ situation in hospitals where patients were unable to go home due to issues with safety or adjustments needed in their homes.
During the last year, 618 Maidstone residents have left hospital earlier than they would have or a hospital admission has been avoided, thanks to the dedication and joint working of the housing and hospital teams and contractors ‘Involve Kent’ and ‘Wynsdale Waste Management’.
The team work with a variety of agencies to offer a wide range of services to help people adjust. A handyman service which fit key safes; carry out home safety checks, alterations and repairs; cleaning contractors and various advice and support agencies.
During the last year 165 key safes have been fitted in Maidstone for people needing carers to have access and the team have helped 79 people with furniture moves.
John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Service at Maidstone Borough Council said:
“We started the team from scratch three years ago and they are now an integral part of the system to get people home from hospital quicker. They work with the discharge teams at Maidstone and Pembury Hospitals and have worked hard to build these relationships.
“As a result, they are now being called upon to help stop some people having to go into hospital in the first place by putting them in touch with other agencies and support services.
“Our team has been working throughout the pandemic helping to free up beds to accommodate the increased numbers needing hospital beds.”