Health and care organisations in Somerset are working together to raise awareness of the benefits of patients recovering at home as soon as they are well enough to leave hospital.
‘There’s No Place Like Home’ promotes the benefits of recovering at home to patients and their families.
Being in hospital during a period of serious illness is the right place to be.
However, there’s lots of evidence to show that once the critical phase of the illness is over, hospital is not the best place for recovery and rehabilitation. This is because surroundings are unfamiliar, mobility is more limited and good sleep often less easy to come by.
Why there really is no place like home
Physical strength: If you stay in bed for long periods, you lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength. This makes it harder for you to regain your independence. Getting up, dressed, and moving helps maintain muscle strength and your ability to do things for yourself.
Rest: Good sleep is essential for a long and healthy life but it’s even more important when you’re recovering from an injury or illness. Hospitals are busy places, often with patients and staff coming and going throughout the night and many patients struggle to get a good night’s sleep which can lead to sleep deprivation. There’s no bed like your own bed when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
Mental wellbeing: Being in familiar surroundings with support from your friends and families is one of the best things for mental wellbeing. Hospitals are unfamiliar and can be very confusing, which increases your risk of developing delirium (sudden confusion).
Infection: When you’re unwell you’re often less resistant to infections. We do everything we can to prevent you from developing an infection but the risk is usually lower at home where there are fewer unwell people under one roof.
Help us help you
We are asking for your help and support to ensure we can continue caring for those who need our support.
Being ready to collect loved ones from hospital as soon as they are medically well enough to leave can make a big difference. If you can provide some care for loved ones, it will help us care for those people who are very unwell. Very often simple arrangements such as regular visits or help with meals can mean that someone can go home more quickly.
Mel Lock, Director of Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their help and support in these continuing challenging times for both health and social care. We’re asking families to work with us and our NHS colleagues and help get their loved one home from hospital as soon as they are safely able to do so.
“We’re also asking anyone who feels they are receiving care at home they no longer need, and only that they no longer need, to contact their care provider or Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224. Staff will then review their care needs with them. This further supports us in allocating care support to those most in need in these high demand times.”
How you can help support us
- Help get relatives home from hospital – start thinking about how you can help your loved one get home as soon as they are admitted to hospital. Then, be ready to collect them from hospital as soon as they are medically well enough to leave. If you can provide some care for loved ones, it will help us care for those people who are very unwell. Very often simple arrangements such as regular visits or help with meals can mean that someone can go home more quickly.
- Discharge lounge – when your loved one is ready to leave hospital, they are likely to be transferred to one of our discharge lounges – which operate at both Yeovil District and Musgrove Park hospitals. This is a safe place where patients can sit and wait comfortably out of the busy ward environment, and our friendly teams will provide them with hot and cold drinks and snacks too.
- Review your care at home – if you are receiving care at home that you think you no longer need, please contact your care provider or Adult Social Care so staff can review your care needs. This will support us to make sure care is allocated to help someone else to remain in their own home or leave hospital with the right support.
- Help look out for your community – check in on relatives and neighbours who might need extra support.
Support for families in Somerset
Somerset County Council support
For more details on the help available to live at home, including information on intermediate care, what help is on offer after a stay in hospital, and specialist equipment available to support living independently, visit: Social care and health (somerset.gov.uk).
Somerset’s Community Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
The SPOC service links people with a range of support options to assist people to be discharged from hospital and is provided by voluntary and community sector organisations, including the Red Cross. The service supports transport, shopping, care at home, home checks and practical solutions to help people manage to live safe and well at home. Phone lines are monitored Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm. Online referrals can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Phone: 01749 836700
Open Mental Health
Open Mental Health can offer help and advice on how to manage your mental health and improve your wellbeing. If you need to speak to someone please contact Mindline Somerset any time of the day, any day of the week locally on 01823 276892 or freephone 0800 138 1692, Mindline Live Web Chat is available every day from 8pm-11pm or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
Safe and Warm Somerset
Everyone deserves a home which is warm, comfortable, and affordable to heat. Safe & Warm Somerset supports anyone in Somerset who may need help with energy bills or keeping warm at home, including if struggling with energy bills, dealing with a broken heating system or boiler, or unsure about how to use your heating system. If you need help to keep warm, reduce energy bills and make home energy improvements, access grants and benefits, or manage debt call 0800 082 2234 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or fill in the form at www.cse.org.uk/contact-us