Corporate Information

New collaborative service which helps patients return home from hospital launches at Countess of Chester Hospital

 A new service that supports getting medically fit people in Cheshire West and Chester out of hospital and back home has officially launched at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Whilst a patient may be medically fit to leave hospital, it is often necessary for their homes to be adapted to ensure all their needs are cared for, and in Cheshire West and Chester, where there is an ageing population, demand for such adjustments is amplified.

This can contribute to delays in hospital discharges and subsequently affect the admission process for new patients.

In response to this challenge, the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has become a proud partner of Cheshire Community Action to launch the Community Home First initiative. The initiative not only helps patients when they are ready to leave hospital as quickly as possible but also assists with arranging comprehensive support to prevent readmission once they get home.

Cheshire Community Action is leading the initiative and is working alongside several other charities across the borough to provide the service, which employs community connector staff based at the Trust, and Leighton Hospital in Crewe whose roles involve talking to patients who are well enough to be discharged, and help them return home by tackling any practical problems that could prevent this happening.

After leaving hospital local social enterprise Snow Angels then offer support at home for patients aged 18+ identified with the help of clinical staff, through check-ins, shopping and prescription drop-offs.

CHF Team 2Scheme partner Age UK Cheshire also offers dedicated home visits to newly discharged patients aged 55+ who require more holistic and comprehensive support to aid their recovery and independence, whilst Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust provide support to the carer of a recently discharged patient.

Joanne Foster, one of the based community care connectors at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Over the last year we have been assisting our hospital colleagues to address some of the practical issues causing delays to discharges and have received great feedback.

“It is very exciting to now be able to extend our service further with partnering organisations to support patients and their carers beyond leaving hospital to help avoid a return trip to hospital by ensuring they have everything they need and are supported back into their home life.

“Often there is much anxiety around leaving hospital, particularly about how they will manage in those first few weeks. With the Community First initiative, we can cohesively seek ways to allay their worries and help them to gain their confidence to stay independent in their own homes.”

Mark Reading, Chief Executive of Cheshire Community Action, added:

“We hope that the extra support provided by Community Home First will free up much-needed hospital beds, prevent readmissions and make sure that people get the support they need to stay healthy and independent at home.

“Having run a pilot scheme in 2023, we know that together we can make a difference to patients and hospital staff by helping people to get back to their everyday lives. We look forward to seeing where we can take Community Home First as we expand the service and the number of people we help.”