Getting patients home from hospital more quickly thanks to HomeFirst

Elderly patient with walking stick

Our Homefirst discharge programme ensures assessments for our patients’ rehab, equipment and care needs takes place in their own home, which gives a much more accurate picture of the level of support they actually require. This also ensures long-term decisions are not made about their future while they are in hospital.

Following two successful trials, our Homefirst discharge programme for patients who live in Havering will become business as usual from Monday (12 April).

Homefirst, which encourages our teams to think ‘home first’ for our patients, preventing long hospital stays where possible, involves working closely with our partners, including NELFT, Essex Cares, Age UK, our CCGs, local councils, and the Red Cross.

Our Havering Homefirst team will be able to support up to seven discharges a day, up from four during the pilot phases. Patients who require support from two carers will also now be eligible.

Mike Exford, Red2Green transformation facilitator at our Trust, said: “This is making a huge difference to our patients, who we know would prefer to be in their own homes where possible. It also lessens their risk of potential harm, such as loss of independence, common after long hospital stays.

“Not only that, it’s improving patient flow through our hospitals and freeing up our acute therapists to focus on those patients who really need them. We hope to be able to make HomeFirst business as usual in all our boroughs as soon as we can.”

An initial pilot in Havering was held in November 2019, with the second pilot last September including all three of our boroughs. While Havering is the first of our boroughs to make it a permanent process for discharging patients, pilots continue to run in Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham so patients from those areas can also benefit from Homefirst.


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