1,000th patient benefits from assessment at home instead of hospital

Health and social care professionals in Somerset are celebrating this week after the pioneering extension to its already successful HomeFirst service, a ‘discharge to assess’ service, helped its 1,000th patient to return home from hospital for an assessment since March this year.

The service, which is run by Somerset County Council, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil Hospital, as well as border acute hospitals, offers people who may need some short term help the support they need to enable them to return home.

It also gives our patients an assessment at home and tailored help to finish their therapy and recovery at home, with personalised care that helps them achieve greater independence. It has in fact reduced patient stays in hospital by up to ten days.

The service is run by specialist teams of health and social care colleagues who have been given additional training in a range of care techniques so they can do more with patients once they are home to help them regain independence faster.

It means that patients don’t need to wait in hospital for a complete assessment as where it’s safe to do so they can be discharged home at the right time and get support for those important day-to-day tasks, helping to give them a quicker and happier recovery.

The team works closely with medical and nursing colleagues to ensure patients are comfortable and happy that they can be discharged safely.

Wendy, from Ilminster, was the 1,000th patient to benefit from this service. She was discharged home from Musgrove Park Hospital and was given an extensive assessment in her own home.

With the support of Maria Goodland, a reablement practitioner at Yeovil Hospital, and Henryk Szota, a Care South enabler, Wendy and her husband were able to be at home with some extra equipment to help her move safely around her home without needing a stay at a residential home.

Wendy will now have ongoing therapeutic support from the NHS reablement practitioners for her exercise, mobility and hip strengthening.

Both Wendy and her husband normally enjoy getting out and about and say they are hoping that with the support of this service they will be able to start doing this again.


Pictured (left to right): Henryk Szota – Care South enabler, Wendy, Maria Goodland, reablement practitioner – Yeovil Hospital.