The guidance is aimed at hospital staff to support effective coordination of discharge planning, especially for patients who may need further care once discharged from hospital.
We are pleased to see that the guidance acknowledges the important role that home equipment and adaptations in helping patients to leave hospital and live safely and independently in their own home.
It states: “Adaptations which enable and support discharge… must be planned for as early as possible during admission as part of the recovery plan.”
Care & Repair have long been calling for the home environment to be considered early on in discharge planning. Our Hospital to a Healthier Home Service has operated across Wales since 2019, providing home adaptations and improvements for patients who are well enough to go home but cannot leave hospital due to a housing or environmental issue.
Last year the service saved the Welsh NHS nearly 26,000 bed days by completing over 7,200 fast track adaptations and home improvements worth over £1.7million for over 4,000 patients. These works were essential for safe hospital discharge and prevented longer than necessary hospital stays. More broadly in the community, last year Care & Repair helped over 62,000 older people by completing over 65,000 jobs in the home to keep older people safe at home by preventing falls and accidents at home and preventing hospital admission.
Care & Repair Cymru’s Hospital to a Healthier Home service ties in well with Welsh Government’s Six Goals for Urgent and Emergency Care policy, and Ministerial focus to build community capacity to get patients out of hospital ‘further, faster.’
We hope future versions of the hospital discharge guidance will recognise the integral role Care & Repair plays in delivering home adaptations to facilitation safe hospital discharge for older patients.