Scotland promotes 'Hospital at Home'
Updated: 2013-03-06 11:10
EDINBURGH - Scotland is promoting a project which has enabled 80 percent of patients to stay at home for treatment rather than being admitted to hospital.
Models similar to the "Hospital at Home" initiative, which has been piloted by North Lanarkshire Partnership in Southern Scotland, are on trail in some local communities, said a Scottish government press release on Tuesday.
The program involves a team of nurses, health professionals, healthcare support workers, social care staff, general practitioners (GPs) and consultants caring for patients at home, allowing them to remain in familiar surroundings with family and friends close by, it added.
The initiative has seen 80 percent of patients referred, who are all over 65, able to remain at home.
Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil announced the roll out of the project as he set out final plans to legislate for the integration of adult health and social care, while he spoke at the "Building the Connection" event run by the Alliance Scotland.
"We know that in Scotland more people are living for longer, and this brings challenges in terms of the way we plan for, organize and deliver our health and social care services, particularly for people in their later years." said Neil.
He added that the National Health Service (NHS) is currently in a period of transition, as the balance of care shifts towards more community care and shorter hospital stays.
"No one wants to be in hospital longer than they should be. The hospital at home project is just one example where a more joined up approach between health boards and councils and between specialist and community services is benefiting patients, and enabling them to live more independent lives." Neil noted.
"Through closer working between local authorities and health boards, we expect to see improvements in the quality of care our patients and service users receive." he added.
By allowing people to be treated closer to home, and adopting a more community-based approach, the project will help to improve health and social care, consistently, for older people in all parts of Scotland, which represents the radical change that is needed to improve care across adult health and social care services, and in particular care for older people, according to the Scottish Health Secretary.
The joined up approach is already working well in some areas of Scotland. In Highland, a ground breaking Partnership Agreement was signed in March 2012 to successfully establish a lead agency model in Highland, which means adult health and social care services are managed though a single budget and a single management system, according to the press release.