Healthwatch Leicestershire & Rutland have been asked by the Clinical Commissioning Group to pass on the following message to the public following the decision yesterday to declare a System Critical Incident at University Hospitals Leicester. This follows an extended period of pressure for everyone in the health system across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland since the festive period.
People urged to support their loved ones after leaving hospital
The local emergency department in Leicester is currently extremely busy, with many seriously ill patients in the department requiring admission to hospital.
To support Leicester’s Hospitals in admitting those who need to be in an acute hospital settings, the local NHS is moving patients who are medically fit for discharge to settings suitable for the needs of patients across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, but that may be different from settings that patients might expect.
People across the area are being asked to be aware of the settings available to look after them or their loved one and to be prepared to support the move to these more suitable settings which will meet their needs and aid recovery.
Where possible, and when it is clinically safe to do so, patients are being discharged to their homes, which helps them recover more quickly than if they were in hospital.
Dr. Nick Willmott, GP in West Leicestershire and Clinical Lead for West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said “We know people recover better in their own homes, so we always want to make sure that we can support them to recover at home wherever possible. When a patient is ready to be discharged, their needs will be assessed and a care plan will be drawn up, detailing the health and social care support which they need to recover, as well as any equipment they need. We’re asking people to be prepared to support their loved ones to recover at home wherever possible.”
Dr. Willmott continued. “The hospital will support you to know how to care for your loved one and people shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure they are confident in any particular techniques they will need. The idea of supporting recovery may seem daunting at first, but learning these basic techniques, such as administering injections or supporting someone to move from their chair to their bed in the correct way means that your loved one can be discharged earlier, and ultimately recover more quickly at home.”
Those patients who can still be discharged to their home, but need more intensive support may be cared for by the Intensive Community Support Service, which offers nursing care, physiotherapy and some social care in the patient’s home. This service can care for up to 256 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and proved extremely popular with patients. In regular surveys, between 95 and 100 per cent of the patients have said they would recommend the service to friends or family with a similar condition.
Patients who still need to be in a hospital setting, but no longer require acute care may be moved to a bed in one of the eight community hospitals across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Community Hospitals support reablement and rehabilitation of patients who are unable to be supported to recover at home.
In some cases, when the patient is unable to be cared for at home, and no longer require the level of care offered by a hospital they may be discharged to a care home on a temporary basis, where ongoing care can be provided appropriate to the individual.
Dr. Willmott continues “Although we always try to place patients in community hospitals close to their homes, or to discharge them to their own homes, this is not always possible, particularly when the system is busy. We’re asking for people to be supportive and to understand that the NHS needs to focus on ensuring that they, or their loved one, are cared for in safe surroundings where they can receive the support they need.”
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