For the past two years Home First in Somerset have been helping people get home from hospital faster, thanks to short term support either at home or in specialist unit, care home or community hospital. This fantastic initiative brings together several teams from across Somerset health and care including community health; social care, and the voluntary sector.
The concept of Home First in Somerset fits with Fit for my Future, the strategy for the future of health and care in Somerset. Home First offer the assessments and care planning that used to be offered in hospital in people’s homes, which allows for a better recovery. Much of the feedback from Somerset residents has called for better community support, and the idea that your own bed is the best bed, wherever possible.
In the first two years of Home First there have been some impressive achievements:
- More than 5,000 people have been supported by Home First Somerset
- By getting people home earlier, patients have spent more than 50,000 days in their own beds, rather than in hospital
- 94% of people aged over 65 are discharged home after an acute hospital stay
- There has been a reduction of 75% in delayed transfers out of hospital
- Home First are working across the whole of Somerset with a range of organisations, including Rapid Response, to prevent further hospital admissions
- Community organisations are a huge part of the Home First Somerset team, including Talking Cafés and Community Agents
The feedback from members of the public about Home First has also been excellent, with one carer commenting that their wife had “improved so much. [She] would highly recommend the Home First service.”
The hard work of the Home First Team has meant that this is now a long-term service available in Somerset, and it has changed how hospital staff think about discharging patients. The team are looking forward to helping more people in Somerset regain their independence.