People are living longer than ever before but they often have several long term health conditions which can lead to stays in hospital that could have been avoided, if more support was available in the community.
Health and care services are all working closer together to provide more out of hospital care, because there really is no place like home.
Hospital is the right place for some treatments and sometimes a stay can’t be avoided. When this happens we aim to get patients home as soon as it’s safe to do so as evidence shows that people often recover quicker at home.
Helping people to manage their conditions, stay well and stay at home is great for them but it also helps us to make better use of limited health and care resources.
Why there really is no place like home
Evidence shows that people recover quicker at home, if they have the right support in place, here’s why:
- Physical strength – when people stay in bed for long periods they lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength – making it harder to regain independence. Getting up, dressed and moving helps maintain muscle strength and people’s ability to do things for themselves.
- Rest – Sleep is the body’s time to rebuild and it’s even more important to have quality sleep when recovering. Hospitals are busy places with lights, talking and noises from equipment, which can cause sleep deprivation. There’s no bed like your own bed when it comes to a good night’s sleep.
- Mental wellbeing – being in familiar surroundings with support from loved ones is one of the best things for mental wellbeing. Hospitals are unfamiliar and can be very confusing which increases the risk of developing delirium.
- Infection – when people are unwell they often have reduced resistance to infections. Our hospitals do everything they can to lower the risk of developing an infection but the risk is usually even lower at home where there are fewer unwell people under one roof.
Health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and the community are all working together work as one team to support the health and wellbeing of local people through the development of eight Integrated Care Communities (ICCs).
Changes to health and care services can be confusing and might cause some people to worry. We’ve created a myth buster to help explain why we’re changing, and why we’re not, and provide reassurance on some of the common rumours we hear.No Place Like Home – Myth buster
Caroline Evans, Associate Director of Operations at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation trust, shares Paul’s story to show why health and care services are changing and why we need to provide more care out of hospital.