New system helps Dorset hospital patients get ‘Home First’

27th October 2020

NHS and social care services in Dorset are teaming up to help people out of hospital more quickly and recover in the comfort of their own homes.

A new system, called ‘Home First’, is now in place to help reduce the length of patient stays in local hospitals.

As soon as a person is ready to leave, they will be discharged home – or to an appropriate care setting – and assessed to see if they require additional support to aid their recovery.

Where appropriate, community health and social care staff will then provide a package of care and rehabilitation for up to six weeks to make sure people fully recuperate and regain their independence.

Home First is in line with new Government guidelines, and evidence which indicates people recover more quickly in a home setting.

It brings together NHS staff from Dorset’s acute hospitals (in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorchester) and community services provider Dorset HealthCare, plus social care workers from BCP Council and Dorset Council.

Helen Persey, Dorset HealthCare’s Acting Deputy Service Director for Integrated Care Services, said: “This is a very exciting development which brings together different organisations to provide better services for local people.

“It is really important that patients, particularly the frail and elderly, do not stay in hospital any longer than they need to. By working together, we can support their discharge as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We will assess their recovery needs, and provide the rehab care they require in or near their home to help them get back to normal.

“Not only will this reduce pressures on local hospital beds, it will also allow people to recover in familiar settings close to friends and family.”

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