Hospital at Home gives older people in Forth Valley, who are acutely unwell, the option to recover at home, rather than having to be admitted to hospital.
Under this service, introduced at the end of last year, consultants go out to visit and assess patients in their own homes and arrange for them to be supported by a multi-disciplinary team including advanced nurse practitioners, nurses and physiotherapists.
Under the Hospital at Home system, a patient will be assessed, normally within a few hours, by a practitioner who will take a history and conduct an initial examination.
Following this, a consultant geriatrician will assess the individual in their own home, and discuss a care and treatment plan with input from the patient and their family.
Now the NHS Forth Valley initiative is to share in a further £2.6 million of Scottish Government funding.
Humza Yousaf, Scottish Health Secretary said: “Hospital at Home provides a safe and cost-effective alternative which focuses on the individual patient’s needs.
“Across Scotland, 19 Health and Social Care Partnerships within ten health boards are currently developing a Hospital at Home service. This funding brings the total invested in Hospital at Home to just under £4 million.
“We know older people are increasing in numbers and occupy a large proportion of hospital beds when they become frail. If some of these admissions can be avoided, with improved outcomes for patients, everyone benefits.”
Dr Claire Copeland, NHS Forth Valley clinical director for ageing and health welcomed the funding.She said: “For many patients, the prospect of being admitted to a hospital can be upsetting. It means separating them from the people, pets, and familiar surroundings that create a feeling of safety.
“In addition, the effects on older people of remaining in hospital too long are well documented – often resulting in a loss of independence and self-esteem. That is why admission to hospital should only happen when the patient’s clinical need requires it.
"If the level of care and treatment can be provided at home then we would like to provide it there.”