‘We’re working to help people stay at home this winter’
The Home First Prioritisation programme aims to support individuals to remain at home, or as close to home, as possible and avoid an unnecessary hospital admission. Project manager Craig Esberger talks about the work done so far….
Keeping people – particularly the frail and over 75s – at home so that they can sleep in their own beds is a key aim for everyone working in health and social care in Lincolnshire.
The Home First Prioritisation programme is a piece of work that will be taking place throughout the winter period focusing on achieving this goal.
Colleagues from across the system have come together to identify and understand the main reasons, themes and patterns of behaviour from across the system that increase the likelihood of unnecessary admissions to hospital.
More than 40 people from organisations across the system took part in the first stage of the programme. In this, we reviewed calls for an ambulance from a number of target groups.
During the week, a number of themes emerged as to why patients were being taken to hospital, including falls, respiratory problems, end of life and calls that raised the questions of ‘what would A&E do?’ and ‘can the care and treatment the person requires be provided in their own home?’
A fortnight ago, a further 42 colleagues attend a workshop to further explore these themes. They began to plan prototypes and pieces of work that can be done in neighbourhoods to help patients remain in, or as close to, their home and avoid being admitted to hospital.
I was delighted with the level of energy and engagement in the room. There was a real thirst among colleagues to effect change. There was lots of great collaborative work taking place, which is the key to making this project a success.
As a result, colleagues working within a local community will be taking away a number of mini projects to work on. These include a piece of work around falls, personalised care and support and peer to peer support for patients with certain conditions among others.
Everyone who attended agreed that the programme has provided a great networking opportunity. It brought colleagues, who in their day to day duties would have limited contact with each other, together so that they can understand the issues in more depth and develop the services that will ensure that where possible, people get to sleep in their own beds.
It is our intention to repeat the EMAS audit in February. We hope to see what has worked and what more we need to do.
The reason for undertaking this project is that we know that people prefer to be at home. They also recover quicker if they sleep in their own bed, surrounded by family and friends.
Helping people stay at home
We know much of the care and treatment that is provided in hospital doesn’t need specialist teams or equipment. It could be provided in the community. But we also accept that in previous years we haven’t given sufficient attention and focus to developing our community services.
This programme aims to rectify this.
By understanding what the common issues and problems are that prevent patients who are frail being able to stay at home, we will be able to work to address them. Patients will be able to receive the care and support they need in their communities – unless their clinical needs require the expertise and resources that are only available in an acute hospital.