Posted on August 16, 2013

Care at home scheme extended

A north London hospital has extended its scheme for treating patients in their own home, as the NHS is still under immense pressure. The Royal Free Hospital is using the beds freed up by offering care at home to help those who require specialist treatment and for the care of those who arrive at the hospital through A&E.  This process is being referred to as PACE (post acute care enablement) and looks first at those patients who are in need of care but who are medically stable enough to be moved. 'Casefinders' have been appointed by the community health trusts to figure out which patients will benefit most from this type of scheme. The casefinders liaise with the doctors and nurses to ensure that the right information is provided and that the right level of care is available.  The scheme is usually aimed at elderly patients who have long-term health issues. Being sent home as part of this scheme is not a formal discharge, as the patients remain under the care of their own hospital consultant.  The care at home scheme is nurse-led for a few days and the local authority provides social care for essential tasks such as dressing and washing.  To date around 3,000 patients have benefited from PACE. The scheme is considered to be a resounding success.  The hospital formerly had a readmission rate of 20%, which has fallen to less than 4% and is a further indication that patients can recover much more quickly in their own home.
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