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Nurses and social care staff working together to get hospital patients HomeFirst

Nurses and social care staff are working together to help ensure that hospital patients who are fit to go home, get there in a safe and timely way.

Worcestershire Health and Care Trust’s ‘Onward Care Team’ – made up of social care staff, community nurses and discharge nurses - are working alongside Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s ward teams to ensure discharge from hospital is timely and effective, in turn reducing delays for people accessing urgent or emergency care.

The launch of the Onward Care Team at the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals this week follows a successful test at the Alexandra Hospital at the end of last year which saw shorter stays in hospital, fewer patients going to onward care in community hospitals and care homes, more patients being discharged before lunch and fewer patients being readmitted.

Sharon Buckley, Urgent Care Strategic Lead at Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, said: “The Onward Care Team will support wards to ensure every patient with onward care needs has a proactive, timely and efficient transfer, as we know that prolonged stays in hospital can actually slow down recovery for patients.

“This initiative is one of many which support the wider HomeFirst Worcestershire programme which aims to improve flow by releasing beds for patients waiting in the Emergency Department or elective patients waiting for surgical procedures; and eliminate the risk of hospital-acquired functional decline for older patients and the subsequent harm this causes.”

Robin Snead, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is a great example of organisations in our local health and care system working together to close the gap between the capacity we have to care for patients who need urgent or emergency care and the growing number of people in need of that care.

“Improving patient flow through our hospitals requires the active involvement of teams across our hospitals and in our partner organisations and the Onward Care Team is a great example of this in action. Everything that we and our partners are doing will help us to make sure that more patients get the right care in the right place at the right time – not only in our hospitals but also at home or in community settings.”