Princess Alexandra praised for home care service

Patient at Home pic

A SERVICE developed at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust in Harlow to enable patients to be treated at home has won widespread praise from users – and is now in the running for a prestigious national award for excellence in healthcare provision.

The Patient At Home service was developed by a physician-led team at the hospital to apply the same care pathways and services for patients in their own home as they would receive in hospital. It allows acute medical patients and those in need of care before and after an operation to receive personalised care in their own home, rather than being treated in hospital. As well as allowing vulnerable people to remain in their own surroundings, this reflects evidence which shows that keeping people out of hospital can improve patient outcomes.

Research by the #endpjparalysis campaign shows that for every 10 days of bed-rest in hospital, the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing occurs in people over 80, and building this muscle strength back up takes twice as long as it does to deteriorate.

The service has now been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal awards, which highlight best practice in healthcare across the country.

Tal Heymann, Clinical Lead for the Patient at Home team, said: “Patient at Home deals with some of the biggest challenges we face in the UK healthcare system – an aging population with rising numbers of chronic health issues; the increasing burden of acute healthcare; pressures in one of the busiest A&E departments in England and demand for GP out of hours care. Importantly it also offers the benefit to the patient of avoiding a stay in hospital. It is underpinned by a commitment to improve integration across primary, community and secondary care.

“The service draws on existing best practice through the use of technology for remote monitoring and role redesign, with acute healthcare professionals, who would usually work in emergency medicine or as GPs, now visiting the patient at home. I am delighted the team has gained this recognition.”

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