The large, long established discharge to assess service in Birmingham we help to co-ordinate is highlighted in the social housing journal, Inside Housing.
The feature explores how CHS Healthcare works with Anchor Housing as part of a large Discharge to Assess service we run in Birmingham, on behalf of the Birmingham Cross City Clinical Commissioning Group. The beds are known as Enhanced Assessment Beds.
Patients who are fit to be discharged from the city’s acute hospitals but need further support and assessment, are transferred to community based beds.
We manage the beds in eight care and nursing homes within the scheme, co-ordinating all the care and assessments they need to ensure no-one becomes ‘stuck’ in the system.
Once in the discharge to assess placement, the patient is first assessed by an occupational therapist who will decide whether physiotherapy is needed. Around 40 to 60 per cent of patients will have physiotherapy to help them with mobility problems.
We manage the team of physiotherapists to ensure patients receive this support (or reablement) without delay.
Patients are allocated a social worker who will carry out an assessment and co-ordinate next step for the patient: return home/return home with a package of care/choose a permanent care home.
Patients spend four weeks in the discharge to assess bed and the evidence shows the services gives them a better chance of returning to their own home with a package of care than if assessments had taken place while in hospital.
Rachael Hardbattle, CHS Healthcare manager for the Midlands and north of England, who has also overseen large discharge to assess services in Liverpool and Leicester, commented:
“Discharge to assess is the model of best practice for elderly, frail patients when they are ready to leave hospital but not able to go straight back home. To work effectively, it depends on strong relationships with care and nursing homes and close collaboration between professional agencies and social work teams. We have really robust reporting and constantly manage each person’s care, so no-one is ever ‘lost in the system’ waiting for physiotherapy or an assessment to be carried out. Everyone is working to get each patient to the best place – ideally their own home with the support they need, or a good, supported choice of long term care.”