Local people asked to help get patients Home for Lunch

Posted: February 12, 2016

New initiative to speed up discharges

Home For Lunch 160A new initiative, 'Home for Lunch', aims to get patients home before lunchtime when they are well enough to leave the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and the Trust's community hospitals across Wiltshire. 

Discharging patients before midday and as soon as they are well enough, aims to reduce unnecessary delays, aid a speedier recovery and improve the patient experience.

It also helps to free up beds so staff can start treating more seriously ill patients. 

At any one time, up to around 30 of the patients in the Great Western Hospital's 450 beds which are in use on average, are well enough to leave.

Discharges can be delayed for a number of complex reasons, often in relation to on-going care needs.

No one wants to be in hospital for longer than they need to be and Home for Lunch is part of the Trust's work to ensure everything is ready for when the patient is well enough to leave. 

This includes agreeing an estimated date of discharge and identifying any health or social care support the patient might need when they are well enough to leave. 

It also includes involving family, friends or carers in discussions around the patient's recovery and on-going care needs, so that arrangements can be made early on. 

Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Leaving hospital earlier in the day is safer and more convenient.

"Patients are likely to feel more awake, they can leave in day light and shops, pharmacies and other services are open. 

"We are doing everything we can to ensure patients can leave hospital in a timely, well planned way and supported way when they no longer need this level of care, making space for those who do. 

"There are also lots of things families, friends and carers can do to help, such as making the home comfortable for their return and arranging help around the home."

What family, friends and carers can do to help

  • Be involved in discussions around the patient's recovery and on-going care needs, so that arrangements can be made early on
  • Make arrangements to be available at the time of discharge
  • Make the home comfortable for the patients return
  • Arrange help around the home
  • Arrange transport and clothes to leave hospital in
  • Put the heating on if needed
  • Stock the patient's home with basic food and any medicine they might need 

'Home for Lunch' is one of a bundle of evidenced-based actions, being implemented to improve the patient's journey of care through hospital. 

Patients, families, friends and carers are encouraged to visit the 'leaving hospital' section of the website for information on the range of free local services available to support a smooth discharge from hospital.


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