As NHS Scotland announces an additional £100million in funding to tackle the country’s current ‘bed blocking’ issue, recent statistics from Family Nursing & Home Care show that the charity’s Rapid Response Team has delivered 688 days of care in patients’ homes in just nine months. Since the service’s launch, the service has treated 167 patients, preventing their admission to hospital.
Family Nursing & Home Care (FNHC) launched its ‘Rapid Response’ service in partnership with the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) to improve patient care in Jersey in May 2014. The aim of the service is to prevent inappropriate hospital admissions and, for some people already in hospital, to help them get home more quickly.
The first six months of the scheme were hugely successful and in November HSSD’s Crisis Re-ablement team was integrated with the Rapid Response Team to provide a seamless service. This Crisis Re-ablement team includes nurses, home care assistants, therapists and social workers who are on hand to monitor patients’ conditions beyond the initial rapid response period. Re-ablement is a philosophy which encourages individuals to ‘do for themselves’ rather than being ‘done to’. The team offers an active approach to care, which has seen amazing results for islanders recovering from acute illness, falls and fractures.
Clare Stewart, team leader, said, ‘We are delighted with how our Rapid Response Team has performed, leading us to expand our services with the integrated Crisis Re-ablement Team. To free up so many bed days really makes a difference and means we can confidently say we’re tackling the issue of bed blocking. The recent statistics from NHS Scotland show that bed blocking is not just costly, it also causes long delays in A&E departments and prevents patients from getting home or staying in their homes.
‘Much of FNHC’s work is provided to patients in their own homes. We know that patients who are able to stay in their own home recover faster, have a reduced risk of infections and maintain their independence for longer than if they had to be admitted to hospital. Once back at home, it is easier to involve people that the patients know and trust, such as family, friends and their regular carers in their recovery. This contributes to the patients’ sense of well-being and reduces the risk of disorientation and confusion.’
Bed blocking is not just an issue in Scotland, where recent statistics show that over a four-week period an average of 1,216 beds per day were unavailable to incoming patients, it is also an issue in England. NHS England reported that there were 139,156 days in December 2014 where patients were stuck in beds, unable to leave hospital.
'In Jersey we still deliver integrated nursing and home care through a series of partner organisations, including the Health Department and Family Nursing & Home Care. This approach means that the island’s most vulnerable residents have access to an integrated nursing and home care service and that we are able to tackle issues, such as bed blocking, far more easily. We’re proud of our model as it ensures that care is accessible and standards of delivery are exceptionally high and mean through teams such as Rapid Response and Crisis Re-ablement we can get patients back home or keep them in their homes where we know they’ll recover more quickly,’ concluded Julie Gafoor, chief executive officer, FNHC.