News ‘Helping You Home’ team help speed up hospital discharges

‘Helping You Home’ team help speed up hospital discharges image

During the last year a housing team within Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) has seen 676 Maidstone residents leave hospital earlier than they would have or a hospital admission has been avoided.

The ‘Helping You Home’ team help address the situation in hospitals where patients are unable to go home due to issues with safety or adjustments needed in their homes. They also work to prevent people from ending up in hospital. There has been a 101% increase in the number of referrals to support patients to have a safer home environment.

Alison Broom, MBC Chief Executive, recently visited the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Hospital and shadowed the Integrated Discharge Team (IDT) at the hospital who work very closely with the Helping You Home Team.

Alison said:

“This was a great opportunity to see at first-hand how the collaboration between Maidstone Hospital and Maidstone Borough Council ensures that our residents are supported to get home safely as soon as they are well enough which both assists their recovery and reduces pressure on beds – a genuine win win. This opportunity to hear from the lived experience of patients and our staff will help us sustain and improve this excellent service.”

Their collaborative work ensures that Maidstone residents, who are ready to come home from hospital, have all of the provisions and support in place to ensure they stay at home and are not readmitted to hospital.

Stephanie Line, Integrated Discharge Team Leader said:

“Helping You Home provide the often missing link between a life before hospital and then a life after. Having worked within the IDT and lead the team since the service began, I have seen the difference in what we are able to provide and support the residents of Maidstone. The team and the service provided is embedded in our practice, they listen to our problems then develop future service provision to meet our needs. We cannot thank them enough.”

Cllr Lottie Parfitt-Reid, Cabinet Member for Housing and Health at MBC said:

“This work is vital to alleviating the pressure on the NHS and keeping our residents safe, it was clear from the feedback from the IDT Team that their positive, proactive relationship with MBC and the Housing and Inclusion Team is essential to their work.”

The team also work hard to try and prevent people ending up in hospital by raising awareness of potential health risks particularly for the elderly and vulnerable and those with underlying health issues.

Lottie continues:

“The work the Helping You Home team do to prevent people ending up in hospital is amazing. They are currently leading a campaign in Maidstone to highlight how the heat can play a huge part in increasing hospital admissions, as much as in the winter. It might seem basic advice however if you know someone who might be more susceptible to respiratory issues please let them know about the small steps they can make which might make a huge difference.”

The top tips are:

  • Plan ahead  - Check the weather forecast and the news
  • Avoid the heat - The hottest time of the day is 11am - 3pm
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks like coke and coffee
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
  • Cool your skin with water and slow down
  • Remove glass objects and mirrors from windowsills
  • Go indoors or outdoors, whichever feels cooler
  • Use public buildings like libraries and shops
  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat related illness
  • Look after yourself and check in with others
  • Stay safe when swimming

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 situation in hospitals where patients were unable to go home due to issues with safety or adjustments needed in their homes.

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