Hospital at Home

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Hospital at Home

Hospital at Home is a new model of care in the NHS that provides the acute level care and monitoring that patients expect in a hospital, delivered in the place they call home.

It brings together health professionals as a team and combines the latest health monitoring technology with the specialist knowledge and skills of staff. Through this new way of working, suitable patients will be able to stay at home and receive the same level of care as if they were on a hospital ward. We call it ‘the care of hospital, the comfort of home’.

We know patients who are supported through an acute illness recover more quickly in their own homes, with less chance of de-conditioning, falls and hospital-acquired infection; and more chance of staying connected to their communities and carers. It’s better for patients and helps reduce pressure on our hospitals.

What’s happening in Manchester and Trafford around Hospital at Home?

We have been developing our service in Manchester and Trafford. This is through exciting collaboration between our community and hospital services in the Local Care Organisation and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, along with partners in social care and primary care (GPs). We’ve moved to a single, easy to refer to Hospital at Home offer for our patients.

Patients can be supported in several ways such as:

  • Taking our service to the patient’s home where health professionals, including hospital consultants, advanced clinical practitioners, nurses, therapists, GPs and other staff visit the patient at home to provide assessments and care
  • Providing telemedicine support such as remote vital sign monitoring
  • Social support; or a combination of these offers.

Like a normal hospital ward, patients remain under the care of Hospital at Home for a period (usually up to a maximum of 14 days). When their care is complete they are discharged back to the care of their GP or a community team.

As well as providing care at home, a lot of basic tests that patients need can be carried out in the home like blood tests and ECGs. Hospital at Home also has fast track processes if more complex tests or scans are required for a patient in the service. That’s where patients may attend a pre-booked outpatient appointment for specialist diagnostics, but they will then return home to continue their care rather than be admitted to a hospital bed.

Around 100 patients a day are now supported in this way in Manchester.

Which patients/conditions can be supported by Hospital at Home?

Hospital at Home focuses on suitable patients with the conditions of frailty, respiratory issues or heart failure (or in some cases a combination of these conditions). These are the national priority areas identified as most suitable for care in this way. However, other acute pathways are also considered by the team.

All patients are carefully triaged (assessed) for their suitability for the service by the team.

Which Hospital at Home services are running now?

Recruitment has been taking place to expand the teams as growing the service is dependent on the workforce being in place to deliver the model.

We grew our offer from Winter 2023 in Central Manchester (where we piloted the model through 2023) and North Manchester to begin with. These services are  live and open to referrals from primary care (GPs) and hospital teams.

We can now support around 100 patients per day in the community in this way. Evaluation tells us that for 95% of the cases reviewed, Hospital at Home was the only alternative to an extended inpatient stay. There’s evidence that it’s having a positive impact on the length of stay at the hospitals and that patients who go through the service are less likely to be readmitted. Patient and family feedback on the service has also been overwhelmingly positive.

There’s still lots of work to do, with further recruitment, creating a one team approach and ensuring that hospital teams and GPs are able to make full use of the new service but it is making a significant difference.

The South Manchester service is due to launch in the next few weeks (Spring 2024). Plans are also being developed for Trafford residents later in 2024.

Service information for patients and professionals

Our service pages have more information on the live offers, the team of staff who provide the service and referral information for healthcare professionals.

Other useful links

  • Health Innovation Manchester Hospital at Home – Information on Hospital at Home with a focus on virtual wards and technology for use by teams across Greater Manchester. Includes useful resources for staff and patients.
  • Hospital at Home Society– The UK Hospital at Home Society is for all those with an interest in Hospital at Home, including NHS staff, patients, caregivers, policy makers and the academic community.

Published Dec 2023. Updated April 2024.