Lofty Heights CIC completed a pilot project with Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG last summer that saw their Homeward Bound Project commissioned for a further year. The service carries out practical tasks within the home that may prevent patients from leaving hospital in a timely manner. These tasks can be anything from moving furniture to allow access for hospital equipment to carrying out targeted cleaning to ensure that care will not be refused.
During the project Lofty Heights uncovered a number of areas that hospital staff were struggling with and have sought to find solutions, these include the carrying out of initial home assessments for properties flagged as a safeguarding concern by family doctors or ambulance staff, and attending to a property to enable equipment deliveries to prevent hospital staff having to leave the ward, and even some small handyman repairs that could halt a discharge for weeks whilst tradesmen are sourced (and saving the time and resources having to find them).
The project has been such a success that it is now being trialled in the West Suffolk CCG area.
Last month, December, saw a record-breaking twenty-nine referrals made. The service is contracted for up to twelve each month. If each of those referrals only saved one day of hospital time then Homeward Bound saved the NHS £11,600. At least half of those referrals saved five or more days so that figure will more than double.
The service has received fantastic feedback from patients and staff. “I can’t believe the difference you made, we would never have done this without you.” (Patient family)
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