Further funding has been announced to provide short-term care for acutely unwell patients in their own homes.
The additional £2.6 million has been shared between ten health boards so they can continue to develop Hospital at Home services to avoid admissions to hospital. This brings total funding to just under £4 million.
Evidence shows this particularly benefits frail and elderly patients, since hospital admissions are 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, and are also more likely to experience a delay in their discharge from hospital.
Being cared for by Hospital at Home increases the likelihood a patient can continue living at home six months after a period of acute illness, without being admitted to a care home.
"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," Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said. "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."
James is the Editor of GovX Digital, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the agenda for the UK's biggest public sector transformation conference.