Innovative Hospital at Home service expands into Clydesdale

Aug 31, 2023

NHS Lanarkshire’s Hospital at Home service has now launched in Clydesdale with the aim of better meeting the changing healthcare needs of the area’s ageing population.

The consultant-led community service provides specialist hospital-level care for people aged 65 and over in the familiar surroundings of their own homes as an alternative to hospital admission.

The focus is on supporting frailer, older adults with acute or complex conditions who would normally require a hospital stay. By bringing hospital care into people’s homes, the aim is to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients while reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.

Hospital at Home’s multi-disciplinary care team is headed up by hospital consultants who carry out virtual ward rounds by video. Advanced nurse practitioners, allied health professionals and support staff visit older patients in their homes to deliver comprehensive assessments, treatments and care.

The team treats a range of conditions including infections, pneumonia, heart failure, COPD, dehydration, delirium and falls. They aim to carry out a home visit within one hour of referral to examine the patient and conduct a virtual consultation with the consultant geriatrician to assess if treatment at home is feasible.

If eligible for the service, the team develop and deliver a treatment/management plan for the patient in consultation with other services. A daily virtual ward round is carried out to review and update each patient’s plan.

Working closely with South Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership’s Integrated Community Support Team, the service ensures patients’ wider health and social care needs are also met.

Hosted by Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, the service received 2,223 referrals in the 12 months to April across other areas of Lanarkshire, with 80% of these successfully receiving all treatment at home for an average of seven days.

Recognising that most older individuals prefer to remain in their own homes with appropriate support, the Hospital at Home service offers a viable alternative to traditional hospital care.

This is reflected in the support that unpaid carers also receive through the service. The team spends a significant amount of time in direct communication with the carer of the person receiving treatment. Carers and their concerns are fundamental to patient welfare as well as hugely important in their own right.

Professor Ross McGuffie, chief officer, Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “Expanding the Hospital at Home service into Clydesdale is a significant step for health and social care services in the area.

“Hospital at Home has proven to be a successful way of providing hospital level care for older people in their own homes. In Clydesdale, it will will help us meet the changing needs of local people and deliver high-quality, person-centred care that makes a real difference to the lives of older people.

“By adapting to the changing needs of people in Clydesdale, and Lanarkshire as a whole, we are adopting innovative approaches that deliver the care that is in line with the preferences and aspirations of people who use our services.”

Professor Soumen Sengupta, chief officer, South Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership, said: “Introducing Hospital at Home to Clydesdale is a key step in our commitment to improving patient experience and outcomes.

“Research shows the number of people aged over 75 in Scotland is expected to increase by nearly 65% by 2032, highlighting the urgent need for innovative healthcare solutions tailored to this demographic.

“I’m convinced Hospital at Home is set to play a key role in reducing hospital admissions in a safe and effective way while allowing our older patients in Clydesdale to receive treatment in their homes and remain in their communities.”

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