William Eichler 21 September 2016

Post hospital care reduces readmittance rates, study finds

Post hospital support for older patients improves their quality of life and reduces readmittance rates, new research reveals.

An analysis of the Royal Voluntary Service’s Hospital to Home service in Leicester found six weeks support provided to patients over 55 at the point of discharge ‘significantly’ improved their well-being.

A survey of almost 800 older people found that 70% felt they had improved their level of social contact, 52% said they had improved their confidence and 47% reported an increase in their happiness levels.

These increased levels of happiness also appeared to have a postive effect on readmission rates.

The analysis found readmission rates within 30 days were lower in the patients supported through the service than the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) rate.

The Hospital to Home service achieved a figure of 9.2% readmissions compared to the national figure of 15% for those 75 years and over.

‘A stay in hospital can be disorientating and it’s particularly hard to settle back into your home if you have no one there to give you a word of encouragement, make you a cup of tea or check you’ve got your medication,’ said David McCullough, chief executive of the Royal Voluntary Service.

‘These are all simple things but this analysis proves just how vital that support is to the recovery of an older person who has been in hospital.’

He added: ‘No one should have to go home alone unless they choose to and it’s in no one’s benefit that they do, not the older person nor the NHS as they are more likely to be readmitted if they are not given the support they need after leaving hospital.’

The service in Leicester and its environs was supported by Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet office as one of its Reducing Winter Pressures pilot sites which reduce pressure on hospitals through social action.

Cllr Dave Houseman, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: ‘We’ve made significant improvements in reducing the time it takes to transfer people from hospital to a care setting. There’s a year-on-year 36% reduction in delayed bed days.

‘We’re also encouraged that, compared to similar authorities, Leicestershire is the fourth best out of 22 local authorities when it comes to reducing delays attributable to adult social care in 2015/16, and this improving picture is a result of collaborative working with families, carers, partners in the NHS, clinical commissioning groups, the voluntary sector and district and borough councils.’

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