New scheme to help stop bed blocking at Suffolk's hospitals
PUBLISHED: 16:52 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 05 November 2018
A new scheme to help prevent bed blocking in Suffolk is set to get the green light this month.
Suffolk Coastal District Council has been awarded £87,500 in grant cash to deliver a pilot scheme that will help people who are fit to be discharged from hospital but not ready to look after themselves at home.
Operating on behalf of all Suffolk’s authorities, it will feature dedicated co-ordinators in the county’s hospitals helping come up with solutions for those who have additional needs but are ready to leave hospital.
Among some of the measures can be providing blankets or heaters for homes or arranging basic care such as someone to cook meals.
It will also feature two ‘halfway homes’ to provide temporary accommodation similar to how convalescence homes operate.
Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for housing, Richard Kerry said: “In many cases people can get better quicker in their own home rather than the hospital, which is understandable as they can probably get a better night’s sleep, etc.
“Cabinet will give us the decision to get the grant and then start as soon as possible – hopefully we will have it ready for the cold snap.”
A team of volunteers had helped in hospitals in the last year with discharging patients, with their efforts recognised at a House of Lords reception.
Mr Kerry said this pilot, which is linked to the Warm Homes Healthy People scheme, will follow on from that work.
“If you can keep people in their homes there’s not such a strain on the NHS because it’s less expensive to look after people in their homes,” he added.
While Suffolk Coastal is administering the scheme, it will operate countywide, meaning the discharge co-ordinator who will be employed for the project will work from both Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals.
Other measures will include fast-tracking adaptations to people’s homes, arranging furniture removals or decluttering and carrying out house repairs that could impact on peoples’ health.
A spokeswoman from Ipswich Hospital said: “This is a great example of how, by working in partnership, we can make a real difference to patients, their families and the wider community.”