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  1. Published on: 20/08/2019 07:17 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Action to help tens of thousands more people avoid lengthy spells in hospital is being rolled out nationwide as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.


    NHS doctors, nurses and other staff are being encouraged to ask themselves ‘Why not home? Why not today?’ when planning care for patients recovering from an operation or illness, as part of a campaign – called ‘Where Best Next?’ – which aims to see around 140,000 people every year spared a hospital stay of three weeks or more.



    As well as being better for those individuals who get home with the right support quicker, the drive could also free up more than 7,000 beds for other patients – the equivalent of building an extra 15 large hospitals.



    The campaign, launched today, will see posters and other information placed in hospitals aimed at different staff groups, encouraging them to take practical steps every day to help get patients closer to a safe discharge – whether to their own home or a more suitable alternative in the community.


    The campaign, developed in partnership with Royal Colleges, the Local Government Association and patient groups like Age UK, will therefore focus on reminding ward staff of five principles when planning care:



    • Planning for discharge from the point someone is admitted, and ensuring that plan is shared with the whole team and the patient;
    • Involving patients and their families in discharge decisions, and telling them the benefits of leaving hospital at the right time;
    • Identifying frail patients as soon as possible and making a specific plan for their care;
    • Having weekly multi-disciplinary team reviews for all long stay patients, and;
    • Encouraging a ‘home first’ approach, including assessing people at home where possible.



    This campaign will complement a range of other measures being implemented across the health service as local areas set about delivering the NHS Long Term Plan, such as community response teams providing proactive support to keep people well at home, same day emergency care units providing rapid tests and treatment for common conditions without the need for an overnight stay, and digital tools to speed up finding care home places for those who need extra support after a hospital spell.

     

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