Elderly patient

£2.6m additional funding for Scotland’s Hospital at Home service

Further funding in Scotland has been announced to provide short-term care for acutely unwell patients in their own homes. Ten health boards will benefit from a share of 2.6m additional funding, to help them continue to develop Hospital at Home services to avoid admissions to hospital.

Evidence has shown that this service particularly benefits frail and elderly patients. This is due to hospital admissions being associated with higher rates of delirium, and increased chances of admission directly to care homes.

A patient’s ability to function can also deteriorate while they are in hospital, meaning they have higher needs for community care when they are discharged. They are also more likely to experience a delay in their discharge from hospital.

Research has already shown that those being cared for through the Hospital at Home service increases the likelihood of a patient being able to continue living at home six months after a period of acute illness, without being admitted to a care home.

Scotland’s Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, said: “We know hospitals are often not the best places for frail older people. Hospital at Home provides a safe and cost-effective alternative which focuses on the individual patient’s needs.

“Across Scotland 19 Health and Social Care Partnerships within ten health boards are currently developing a Hospital at Home service. This funding brings the total invested in Hospital at Home to just under £4m.

“We know older people are increasing in numbers and occupy a large proportion of hospital beds when they become frail. If some of these admissions can be avoided, with improved outcomes for patients, everyone benefits.”

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The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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