Staffordshire Fire and Rescue launches new Home from Hospital service


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New initiative aims to support the vulnerable and reduce NHS pressure

In a continued effort to support vulnerable individuals in Staffordshire, the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has introduced a new initiative named ‘Home From Hospital’.

This scheme is designed to ease the transition of patients from Royal Stoke University Hospital back to their homes, ensuring they receive essential care and support post-discharge.

Launched following the success of the award-winning falls response service, Home From Hospital seeks to provide comprehensive in-home care.

Specialised Fire and Health Partnership Technicians are responsible for delivering an array of services.

These include ensuring patients are seated comfortably, conducting home safety checks, and providing necessary refreshments, among other supports.

The aim is to create a safe and welcoming environment for patients returning home.

Enhanced care and support for discharged patients

Ian Read, Head of Prevent, Protect and Partnerships at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, expressed his satisfaction with the initiative: “I am delighted that the Home From Hospital service is now up and running.

“Serving our communities, and especially the most vulnerable, remains a priority for us, and I believe that this new initiative is just the latest endorsement of that.

“Our hope is that this will provide a welcome supplement to the valuable existing discharge services.

“With the additional capacity and ‘settling in’ element that we are offering, we are ensuring that all patients will get the appropriate care.”

Since its inception on 19 April, the service has already supported over 550 patients.

Read added: “I think it’s the personal touch makes all the difference.

“Treating people with dignity, respect and humanity has always been at the forefront of everything that we do, and we expect that to only strengthen through the scheme.”

Impact on NHS capacity and patient well-being

Hayley Bishop, Director of Integrated Discharge at Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, commented on the service’s efficiency and its benefits to NHS operations: “This incredible service has supported more than 550 patients since December 2023 and in most cases the patient was returned home within an hour of the request.

“This responsiveness has enabled beds at Royal Stoke University Hospital to be released earlier in the day and ensure our older patients who live alone are home before dark and feel settled back at home, with the assurance they are both safe and warm.

“It has been an exceptional project to work alongside and the Integrated Discharge Hub team at Royal Stoke have all found working with the fire service a very positive experience.

“The fire service has made a real difference to our teams and our patients as evidenced by the feedback we have all received.”

IFSJ Comment

The Home From Hospital initiative by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service underscores the potential of innovative community care programs to enhance patient outcomes and support NHS operations.

By integrating medical care with home safety checks and personal attention, the service ensures a seamless transition for patients returning home, significantly contributing to their recovery and well-being.

This initiative serves as a model of effective collaboration between healthcare providers and emergency services, showcasing how such partnerships can effectively address community needs.

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