A health team in Hartlepool, transformed from a hospital unit into a community care facility, is trialling more changes to improve patient care.
As part of its latest innovation, the Home First team at the University Hospital of Hartlepool is offering care to patients in the hours after they leave hospital.
In a trial ending next month, the team has been giving up to 72 hours of enhanced care to selected patients discharged from hospital.
It is expected that the new system will reduce demand on hospital services including pressure on the urgent and emergency care centres and on the number of long-term admissions.
Care at home
Jaime Wheatley, deputy matron, said: “This new development is aimed at caring for those patients who need additional care in those two or three days after arriving home from hospital.
“And we know so far that patients are finding that extra support invaluable. We know in the long term patients have a more successful recovery if they can do so in their own home.
“This model is the future of healthcare. It allows patients the opportunity to have that care back in their own homes and helping reduce the pressures on our hospital services.”
Integrated discharge team
The service is considered for patients in hospital ready for discharge, those arriving at urgent and emergency care and those at home who may be at risk of hospital admission.
The management of patients is jointly run by the integrated discharge team and the integrated single point of access.
The team has working partnerships with Stockton Borough Council, Hartlepool Borough Council and the Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group.
Jaime added: “The team continues to think innovatively about how it can help patients get the highest quality of care.
“This latest development has shown yet again what a fantastic multi-disciplinary team we have, We’re all working together for the benefit of our patients.”
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the unit has become a central hub from where patients are cared for in their own homes and care homes.