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There’s no place like home for recovering after hospital treatment

Posted onPosted on 17th Mar

Health and care organisations across Niottinghmshire have teamed up to launch a new campaign to help make patients and their families aware of the benefits of recovering at home once they are well enough to leave hospital.

The campaign, which has the involvement of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust – which runs King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton; Newark Hospital and Mansfield Community Hospital – Nottingham University Hospitals and the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is called ‘There’s no place like home’ and is aimed at helping both patients and their families understand that hospital is a great place when you’re really unwell, but once you are medically fit, there really is no better place to recover than at home with your loved ones.

There are many benefits to going home to recover rather than staying in hospital once medically fit to do so, particularly during a pandemic. Being in familiar surroundings and with loved ones is the best thing for mental wellbeing, and rest and sleep is crucial to recovery, which is often hard to get in a hospital as they can be noisy and busy places.

Research has also shown that if elderly patients stay in a hospital bed for long periods of time, they can lose mobility and muscle strength, which makes it harder to regain independence once they do go home.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ Chief Nurse, Julie Hogg, said: “The aim of this campaign is to highlight to patients and their families that, once they no longer need hospital care and can leave hospital, it really is the best place for them to be and to recover. Hospitals are great places for people when they are really unwell and it is the best place for them, but once they start to get better it isn’t a great place to be. Hospitals can be really unfamiliar, it’s hard to move around and there are many interruptions, all of which can be detrimental to recovery. We want to see patients going home so that they can recuperate safely surrounded by their loved ones.

“We know that some patients and their families are worried when it comes to going home, especially if they feel like they still need support or have tested positive for Covid-19, and our colleagues have experienced some reluctance from families when it is time for their loved one to come home. I would like to reassure patients and their families that we would never discharge someone unless it was safe to do so and it is in their best interest.

“We also need to make sure that we’ve space for our sickest patients so we need our patients that are ready to go home and their families to help us with that by being understanding about their discharge. Together we can make sure that we are able to treat everyone that needs treatment in a time where there is a lot of pressure on the NHS.”

Sarah Moppett, Acting Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, added: ”We know that being in hospital can be a really worrying time for people and it is important for us to make sure that we are doing everything we can. to have early discussions about what are the next steps for our patients, when they are well enough to be safely discharged from our care.

“This might be making plans for our patients to go back to where they normally live or making arrangements if they need any temporary support and help, such as staying in a care home.

“We have these early discussions, so our patients don’t have to stay in hospital for any longer than they need to. We want to ensure that our patients have the best recovery possible, once they are well enough.

“Carers can give support to their family member or loved one while still complying to the Covid-19 lockdown rules, by maintaining social distancing or including them as part of your social bubble.

“There are a number of things you can do to help someone (who is part of your support bubble) who is coming home from hospital, these can include: Getting their bedroom set up, stocking up their fridge to make sure they have enough food, putting the heating on, cleaning and making sure they have everything they need.”

The campaign also aims to inform patients and their families about the other options that may be offered if they are well enough to leave hospital, but still need a little extra help and so home isn’t a safe option for them. One of these options may be a temporary placement in a social setting, such as a care home.

Both Sherwood Forest Hospitals and Nottingham University Hospitals are working together to ensure that all patients receive the right advice about their discharge and recovery as soon as they come to hospital.