The health of people in Mansfield is worse than England’s average; there is a lower life expectancy and higher levels of limiting long term illness. The range and complexity of services provided in the wider health and social care system is reflected in the pressures and strain upon residential care and hospitals.
Discussions with partners identified a need for a more co-ordinated approach to providing a whole system service for our collective customers. Mansfield District Council (MDC) has worked in partnership with adult social care and health (ASCH) (Nottinghamshire County Council and Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust) to develop a hospital discharge scheme.
Following an initial pilot from October 2014 – May 2015 which was independently appraised , the scheme was subsequently funded by the Mid Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group who has fully supported the scheme.
The independent appraisal of the scheme was undertaken by Nottingham Trent University Business School which evaluated the benefits of the pilot and found that the efficiency of hospital discharge has significantly reduced the burden on hospital beds. Evidence demonstrated that there is clear service and financial justification for the continuation and extension of the scheme.
It was evident that the council is a unique contributor to the scheme providing services that will deliver improved outcomes for service users across the community and, through effective partnership working, will deliver much more than could be achieved through financial investment alone.
From October 2014 – February 2015 the Hospital Discharge Collaboration has dealt with over 850 people, its purpose to ease ‘bed blocking’, a well-documented issue at both a national and local level, and does so by:
• Expediting hospital discharge
• Preventing hospital readmissions
• Sourcing alternatives to residential care
• Providing access to a 24/7 service
• Utilising housing stock to meet local need
• Fast-tracking repairs to properties
• Providing key safe installation and minor adaptations
• Installing lifeline and telecare
• Prioritising the letting of existing adapted accommodation
• Using temporary accommodation to facilitate discharge
• Accessing food banks and furniture projects
• Supporting the hospital’s Emergency Department ‘front door’ by engaging with people who have a social need and freeing up hospital staff to deal with emergencies.
In addition to the support the scheme has given to DTOC, the customer journey has been enhanced dramatically with many life changing outcomes. By reducing the number of days spent in hospital through the delivery of needs based intervention and support, service users have been able to return to the comfort of their own homes much quicker. This has been achieved through a bespoke package of support that has enabled individuals to maintain both their dignity and independence.