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Families asked to think 'home first' for relatives

14/01/2021

This article is from 14 January 2021 - the situation may change with time.

NHS and social care staff in Oxfordshire are asking families to help support their loved ones when leaving hospital.

Colleagues across the health and social care system have been working together over recent winters to ensure that as many people as possible receive treatment at home when safe and appropriate to do so, including after discharge from hospital.

For some people the medical, nursing and therapy care they need can be delivered at home, avoiding the need to go to hospital in the first place.

As pressures in local hospitals grow, families are reminded of their pivotal role in how they can support this approach.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, said:

"This collaborative 'home first' approach is an essential part of making sure our patients receive the right care, in the right place - and we are asking families to support us with this when their loved one is ready to be discharged from hospital.

"Once hospital care is complete, many people want to be back home as soon as possible, which is completely understandable. This is also something we want to support especially as the number of patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals is higher than in March and April 2020.  

"If families are able to help us facilitate this, it not only makes sure people are confident and happy in their own homes, it also means there is more capacity in our hospitals for people who need to have more acute care."

Karen Fuller, Deputy Director for Adult Services at Oxfordshire County Council, said:

"Our collaborative Home First approach ensures that patients can leave hospital and return to their own homes and safe spaces, as soon as they are able. People should not stay in hospital for any longer than necessary to ensure that there are beds available for those who critically need them.

"Just 10 days in hospital can lead to 10 years' worth of aging in the muscles of somebody over the age of 80, so it is vital that everyone does their bit during this difficult period to support NHS and social care staff to ensure that we can get people back home as soon as is possible.

"We are seeing significant increase in COVID-19 hospitalisations, and we really need you, more than ever, to be as vigilant and ensure that you are adhering to all of the lockdown guidance."

Sara Bolton, Oxford Health's Associate Director of Allied Health Professionals, said:

"Our highly skilled community teams are here to support you when you get home carrying on your nursing, therapy and rehabilitation needs. Getting you back to the things that matter to you is as important to us as it is for you. To do that we need you 'Home First'!"