An initiative to help combat problems with delayed discharge from hospital has been launched in the north-east.
Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) and VSA have linked up to provide interim accommodation for those who are fit to leave hospital but are not yet ready to be at home permanently.
The project provides a range of homely settings for those coming out of hospital, and care and support will be close at hand.
VSA is providing five sheltered housing-with-care flats at Broomhill Park and Cloverfield Grove so patients can be moved from hospital as soon as they are fit to do so.
Evidence shows that the sooner someone leaves hospital when they are well, the better it is for them both physically and emotionally. Research has revealed that older adults who remain in bed for a significant period are five times more likely to go to a care home on their eventual discharge.
Work by AHSCP and other organisations has already led to significant improvements with delayed discharge numbers.
Four years ago, Aberdeen was the worst-performing area in Scotland, but it is now among the country’s top 10 local authorities.
Partnership chief officer Sandra Ross said: “These flats have in-house care teams, telecare, and full disability accessibility, allowing people leaving hospital to avoid dependency, regain confidence and get ready for going home – while professionals take care of care support arrangements and any necessary adaptations needed at their home.
“The timing is perfect because it means the flats are ready to support winter pressures in hospitals.”
The project has involved investment in a range of services to support discharge, including the formation of a multi-disciplinary team, putting more social workers on hospital wards and securing dedicated care home beds.
Senior service manager Kenny O’Brien, who heads AHSCP’s delayed discharge team, said: “We’re delighted to be working with VSA to help support people leaving hospital.
“By working jointly in this way, we help get people out of hospital and into a homely setting – keeping them safe and healthy, and building their confidence before they go home.”
Jenny Ewen, VSA’s director of adult and community services, said: “Delaying discharge can result in patients becoming ‘deconditioned’.
“These interim flats will result in better outcomes for patients as they will access an appropriate non-hospital setting sooner.”