Trust extends successful Hospital@Home programme

Date: 22/05/2023 | Category: News 2023

The Hospital@Home programme in the Trust is part of a national initiative known as Virtual Wards, designed to deliver hospital-level care in a patient’s own home.

Hospital@Home combines technology (digital monitoring systems) with face-to-face care to provide the hospital-level care patients need for a range of conditions for up to two weeks in their own home. This care is provided by hospital-based doctors, nurses, therapists and pharmacists.

Patients and their loved ones or carers work in partnership with hospital teams to monitor their own health from their own home.

Only patients whose conditions meet a very strict criteria are deemed suitable for the programme as they need to be unwell enough to need monitoring but not so unwell that they need to be in hospital. The decision as to whether a patient is suitable for the Hospital@Home programme is always made by a clinician.

Hospital@Home enables our healthcare teams to provide a more efficient service and to offer acute level support and reassurance to a greater number of patients. It also provides an opportunity for the Trust to work with other local healthcare partners including GPs and social care as part of the Bucks Integrated healthcare System.

The Hospital@Home programme has been successfully introduced in a number of services including the Buckinghamshire Integrated Respiratory Service (BIRS), the Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) service – for patients requiring intravenous antibiotics – the frailty service and hospice at home. Over the coming months patients in other services, such as cardiology, will also be given the opportunity to be cared for in this way.

Benefits of Hospital@Home for patients:

  • Patients can receive hospital standard care (overseen by hospital teams) in their own home
  • It avoids some patients having to be admitted to hospital in the first place
  • It enables some patients to go home earlier than perhaps they could have done otherwise
  • Patients can sleep better, remain active, enjoy the food they like to eat and are able to have their friends and family around them

Mitra Shahidi, Respiratory consultant and deputy chief medical officer for quality and patient safety said: “I think this is an amazing service and our nurses are very experienced. As a respiratory clinician I feel very happy that my patients have the opportunity to go home and continue to have this experienced group of professionals looking after them.”

Patients who have received Hospital@Home care have appreciated the benefits of the system.

Roger Hobbs, a patient receiving care from the OPAT team said: “The Hospital@Home system has made an absolutely fantastic difference – especially to my wife who no longer has to keep travelling to Stoke Mandeville Hospital each day. The ability to communicate with the team has been great. It really is very easy to manage.”

Gloria Turnham, wife of David Turnham a patient receiving care from the respiratory team said: “The only reason David hasn’t been to hospital is because we have this service from the respiratory nurses. David does his readings twice a day. It’s an excellent system. Very good and very thorough.”

Jennifer Ricketts, Director of Community Transformation: “This is something that for years I believe is one of the best ways to deliver care. A lot of it is not new, a lot of it we’ve been doing for a little while. I think it’s a fantastic opportunity, if you can give care to people at home and it’s the same level of care that you would otherwise be providing in a hospital then why not? – It’s brilliant.”

By the end of April 2024, the Trust hopes to be delivering acute level care for around 200 patients in their own homes.

For further information please visit our Hospital@Home web page.