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Partnerships between councils and hospital to help people get home quicker

PUBLISHED: 14:23 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:23 02 November 2017

Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are being offered a new service which will help them leave hospital as soon as they are ready and support them in their own homes.

Five Norfolk district councils are working with the hospital to support patients through the District Direct service, which is designed to prevent unnecessary hospital stays and re-admissions.

Councillor Yvonne Bendle, from South Norfolk Council, said: “Patients are often happier and more comfortable when they’re in their own homes. By working together, we are able to help ensure that homes are made safe and suitable for patients and that they have access to the help they need at the time they need it. Giving people the ability to go home as soon as they are ready also releases hospital beds for patients with more critical conditions.”

NNUH deputy chief operating officer, Roberta Fuller, said: “There is significant evidence that patients recover better from a stay in hospital in their own homes. We are very pleased to be working closely with the district councils to ensure that we support all patients in returning home as quickly as possible. The delivery of council services direct to the patient’s hospital bed-side is an innovative new direction for us in Norfolk and the hospital is very keen to support the continuing success of District Direct”.

Teams from across the councils will support patients to return home and will help them stay living independently for longer. As well as practical help such as minor home adaptions, patients will also receive information and advice about support available in the local area.

District direct is designed to:

• Help people remain in their homes where possible and reduce or prevent avoidable or lengthy hospital admissions.

• Improve patient experience by delivering a bespoke in-hospital service.

• Prevent avoidable homelessness and supporting residents to maintain tenancies where appropriate.

• Support hospital staff by working with patients who have non-medical needs, releasing hospital staff to deal with emergencies.

• Reduce falls by assessing and removing hazards from the home helping to prevent re-admission.

The new initiative has already made a real difference with teams working together to identify difficulties and then find a solution. Ground floor accommodation has been found for a patient who can no longer use the stairs, emergency call alarms and hand rails have been fitted and other modifications have been made to homes to ensure that they are suitable.

District direct also has links to the South Norfolk Help Hub which is an open door to a range of community and voluntary organisations and private landlords who can provide suitable accommodation

The five district councils working with the NNUH are: Broadland, Breckland, Norwich City, North Norfolk and South Norfolk.

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