Patients urged to leave hospital as soon as they are well

Basingstoke Gazette: Dr John Duffy Dr John Duffy

WITH winter now here, and resources at emergency departments across the country being stretched to their limits, patients are being urged to leave hospital as soon as they are well.

The plea, which is being made as part of the Help Us to Help You campaign, comes from North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and staff at Basingstoke hospital.

Dr John Duffy, long-term conditions clinical director at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have to use hospital beds for the right patients – those who need to be there.

“We’re not saying that sick patients should be rushed out. But we all need to work together to make sure the system works well for everyone.

“It is in the best interests of the patients to be recovering at home – being around poorly people when you are well slows down recovery.

“Relatives can help us by communicating with us. If a patient lives in a first-floor flat with no lift for example, we need to know so measures can be put in place so the patient is able to go home.”

Dr Duffy said that, with hospital beds in short supply, and an expected rise in admission to the emergency department this winter, it is particularly important that beds are being used correctly.

He said: “There are only a certain amount of beds and we need to make sure that there are beds available for the people coming into hospital who need them.”

The hospital is working with the CCG and the county council adult services to support patients, families and carers through the heading home from hospital process.

Dr Duffy said: “Effective discharge from hospital involves teamwork and this includes patients, relatives and carers.

“We have to communicate with each other to get patients home smoothly and at the right time.”

Dr Sam Hullah, chief clinical officer of the CCG said: “The relatives and carers of elderly and frail patients can help by communicating with the hospital – finding out the expected date they will be back home and putting plans in place. Everyone needs to take responsibility.”

Sue Pidduck, the council’s area director for older people and physical disability services, said: “We all work closely together – social workers, care managers, community response staff and other health service colleagues – to make sure that patients are able to get back to normal life.

“It is important for people who have been in hospital to be home, in a familiar environment, as soon as possible.”

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