New Home Care Service For Hospital Patients
When older people leave hospital, they need extra support to get back on their feet. If you work in occupational therapy, you’ll know more about this than anyone. You’ll also know that rising demand and reduced funding are making a tricky problem worse. That causes more stress than ever for those at the coalface.
How big is the challenge? If we look at the last five years, delays in leaving hospital while waiting for home care have doubled.
Patients may be waiting for a care package, more NHS support, or for a place at a nursing or residential home. Taking the last 12 months, NHS England says there were nearly two million ‘delayed days’ – that’s more than 5,000 every 24 hours.
To help out, we’ve been developing a new service. It’s designed to support the valuable work you do – and make life better for your patients and their families.
New home care service shaped by occupational therapists
Our new service is called Home & Well and we’ve designed it to deal with these problems.
Feedback from nearly one hundred occupational therapists has helped us to shape it. With their advice, we’ve mixed in practical, day-to-day help with emotional support. After all, both are vital for a patient’s wellbeing - and helping them enjoy an independent life at home.
Weekly wellbeing checks
The Home & Well service includes a weekly wellbeing check, done over the phone. This allows a friendly advisor to see how someone is getting on. Our advisors are experts at helping vulnerable people, so they can pick up signs that family members might miss. This could be about personal care, or emotional problems like feeling lonely. Sometimes it’s not easy raising these things with family. So it’s good to have other people around to listen.
An old-fashioned telephone call can go a long way to stop someone feeling abandoned. Then again, it’s just as likely to reveal more everyday things. Perhaps a particular household chore is becoming a problem, or the heating is playing up. After the calls, our advisors can keep family and friends up-to-date. So however busy life gets, they’ll know that a trusted contact has been in touch with their loved one in the last few days. This can be vital when it’s difficult to build up a support network nearby.
24/7 help and support
Home & Well offers 24/7 help at the touch of a button, on an alarm pendant or wrist strap. If a patient has a fall or is taken ill, they can press the button. This connects them to one of our response team, who can speak to them via a speaker in an alarm unit. Our team will know the user’s medical history and can quickly gauge if there’s an emergency. They might need to contact keyholders or emergency services. If quick access to the home is ever needed, we’ve included a robust key safe.
Dealing with medication can be tricky after a hospital stay. So Home & Well also features a medication information service staffed by experts. Does your patient understand any new prescriptions? With less supervision, are they following the right dosage? Our pharmacists are there to help with any concerns, no matter how big or small. There’s also a medical support line, with nurses on hand for any other health and wellbeing worries.
Safe home assessments
Where frailty is a problem, there are two extra options we can include.
One is a lightweight fall detector that’s worn on a wrist or belt. This automatically calls through to our response team if the wearer has fallen. It’s handy if someone has problems with their balance or muscles after a hospital stay. It offers valuable re-assurance and peace of mind.
The second is a home assessment, where we visit your patient to see if their surroundings are safe and suitable. Our experience means we can see if their care and support needs are being met – and how to make things better.
First 6 weeks free
At PPP Taking Care, we help over 70,000 people stay in the homes they love. Our Home & Well service is free for the first six weeks.*
At the beginning of the service, the customer registers and sets up payment. Payments will be taken only from the end of the six-week free period, unless we are advised that the service is no longer required.
Home & Well can normally be arranged within a matter of days – so everyone gets the benefits without the fuss of long waiting times.
* To be eligible for the Home & Well service, you must have been discharged from hospital six weeks prior to point of enquiry. Home & Well service also includes returning home from respite care.
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