Hospital at home scheme for acutely unwell patients

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Further funding has been announced to provide short-term care for acutely unwell patients in their own homes in Scotland.

An additional £2.6 million has been shared between 10 health boards so they can continue to develop Hospital at Home services to avoid admissions to hospital.

Evidence shows this particularly benefits frail and elderly patients, since hospital admissions are associated with higher rates of delirium and increased chances of admission directly to care homes. A patient’s ability to function can also deteriorate while they are in hospital, meaning they have higher needs for community care when they are discharged, and are also more likely to experience a delay in their discharge from hospital.

Being cared for by Hospital at Home increases the likelihood a patient can continue living at home six months after a period of acute illness, without being admitted to a care home.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said, “We know hospitals are often not the best places for frail older people. 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,” she added.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.