Hospital Discharge Service
Often, when a patient has an unexpected stay at a hospital, their home environment may be unsuitable for a safe discharge
That’s where we can help.
We work with NHS colleagues and hospital discharge teams at Ipswich and West Suffolk Hospitals to make the adjustments needed within the home for a patient’s safe return or enable care to continue at home.
We can do a lot within our allotted four hours, from rearranging furniture, making areas accessible to ensuring kitchens and bathrooms are clean.
Who we help
Hospital discharge teams
Specialist healthcare professionals whose role is to ensure a patient’s safe discharge from the hospital.
People returning from hospital whose living space needs to be re-organised to accommodate medical equipment.
Family & Carers
Those who are worried about their loved one returning home after a stay in hospital.
People nearing end of life
Individuals who wish to spend their remaining days, weeks or months at home.
Safely returns a patient home
Moving furniture and making sure living areas are accessible, patients can safely return to the comfort of their own home.
By lessening the risk of slips, trips, falls and infection, patients are less likely to be re-admitted to hospital.
Reduces NHS costs
By quickly and safely returning people home, our Homeward Bound Service helps to free up hospital beds and save the NHS money.
Family members who are living away or unable to move furniture to make an area safe for the return home of a loved one.
A patient may have been admitted to hospital in an emergency. There may be possessions left on the floor that pose a trip hazard, food left out to perish, or heavy furniture that must be moved to make room for medical equipment. Either way, we can help.
Any health professional can make a referral to our Homeward Bound Service. This means that the patient will not have to pay for our help as it is funded by the local CCG. However, our help is limited to 4 hours, which is why we work closely with hospital discharge teams to ensure our assistance is correctly targeted.
1 / First contact
Do you have permission from the patient to make the referral?
We strongly encourage NHS colleagues and discharge teams to contact us as soon as possible in your discharge planning process. If you are making a referral, you will need to provide us with a lot of information about the patient. Among other things, this will include their NHS number and contact details of key holders etc, and so please bear with us.
2 / Clutter scale
Have you seen the property? If so, we’ll ask you to review our clutter scale to identify the current order of a patient’s home or ask you to share any photos of the home you may have. This gives us a good understanding of how we will use our allotted 4 hours.
3 / Identify discharge date
The patient’s planned hospital discharge date is provided along with any relevant access and medical information we need to be aware of.
4 / Assessment process
Depending on the information provided during the referral, we may send a team out the same day or within the next few days to complete a job without an assessment. If we feel an assessment visit is required, we will make an appointment. If we can complete the job during our assessment visit, and within four hours, we will do so. We’ll always seek the correct permissions, though.
5 / The work itself
Following the brief from the referrer, our Homeward Bound Service is tailored to the patient’s needs. This could be anything from moving furniture, checking internal access is clear of trip hazards, cleaning small areas or a light clean of an entire room. We may also check the smoke alarms, heating and lighting, the kitchen and bathroom condition, and tend to outside access points where there are trip hazards.
6 / Care for possessions
We take care of a person’s possessions as if they are our own. We never dispose of any possessions, and if the furniture is moved, it is safely placed somewhere else within the home.
7 / Completion
Once we have completed a visit, we leave an information sheet at the patient’s home so that they know what we have done and where we have put things. We then let the refer know that the work has been completed so that they can progress the discharge home.
“My Mum is being discharged from hospital into an entirely different environment. I’m so grateful, it was a big task which I couldn’t have managed so efficiently on my own.”
Make a referral
Reach out to our Homeward Bound Service team today to make a referral. You can reach us Monday to Friday (9 am and 5 pm) by calling 01473 345301 or 07783 588023 (our dedicated hospital discharge number). The sooner in the discharge planning process you make a referral, the less likely a discharge will be delayed.