Harrogate Care Company Helps Alleviate Hospital Bed Blocking

Home Instead Harrogate has seen a 10% rise in enquiries from families looking for hospital discharge or reablement support to get elderly relatives home from hospital.

Harrogate Care Company Helps Hospital Crisis This Winter

Home Instead Harrogate has seen a 10% rise in enquiries from families looking for hospital discharge or reablement support as they struggle to get elderly relatives home from hospital.

The latest statistics find that on average that the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust has 92.9%  beds occupied overnight, suggesting that many wards are full and hospital staff are overwhelmed. Data from the Institute for Government found that one in seven hospital beds were occupied by someone who was eligible for discharge during the winter of 2022/23.

Last winter, two thirds of Home Instead’s national network experienced an increase in demand for consultation requests from prospective clients or their families specifically referencing hospital discharge or reablement support.

Bed blocking’ is referring to someone who is in hospital and is ready to come home but is unable to do so. This is often because they don’t have a support system in place to assist them – patients might be medically ready for discharge, but unable to go home if local authorities cannot provide home care for patients who are without local family support.

As the state funded social care system struggles to provide adequate support, families are desperate for their loved ones to return safely from hospital. Home Instead Harrogate has seen a rise in enquiries from NHS discharge teams keen to use community provision available locally, freeing up beds and alleviate the pressure faced by hospital staff. Many people in hospital are well enough to be discharged, but unfortunately the discharge care needs can’t be met by state funded care.

Sheena Van Parys, co-owner of Home Instead Harrogate says: “Clearly, hospitals are under huge pressure. When people are in hospital, it’s really important to get them home as quickly as possible once they are medically fit to do so.

“It all comes down to better integration of the health and social care systems. More NHS discharge teams are looking at us to give patients a safe return home, which is reassuring because historically we have been overlooked. I’m excited about our future of working more closely with the NHS and supporting more people in the community.”

Home Instead’s post hospital discharge care includes personal care, diet and nutrition support and other areas such as catheter care.  Home Instead also offers live-in care, which involves a Care Professional moving in with a client and providing support throughout the day.


How quickly can I return home with care and support in place ? 

Here at Home Instead Harrogate we can arrange to visit you in hospital before you are discharged to discuss your needs and what you would like to put in place at home.   When people have a care plan in place, they can prepare to leave hospital expediently rather than staying on longer than they need to. Not only is this best for the patient, but also for the NHS as a whole. Enabling patients to discharge on time from hospital  will help relieve pressure and give them the space to admit new patients.

How can a Care Professional in my home help me ? 

  1. People who are unable to cope on their own can still return home from hospital if they receive support from a Care Professional. Whether they’re just taking time to get back on their feet or need a bit of a confidence boost following a fall, clients will feel so much more secure if they can rely on a Care Professional.
  2. Care Professionals can help a client to prepare their home for their return and make it as safe as possible. For example, if a client is recovering from a fall, Care Professionals can make recommendations about adaptations in the home, such as removing trip hazards, putting in handrails and wearing a personal alarm.
  3.  Care Professionals can help with tasks of everyday living such as washing, grooming and meal preparation.  Good nutrition is important to get well after an illness and Home Instead Care Professionals can help you with shopping , cooking and of course the washing up!

For more information on the services provided or to find out about joining their team, please call Home Instead on 01423 774490  or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/harrogate

Statistics for this blog obtained from : www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/bed-availability-and-occupancy/bed-data-overnight