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Home First service reaches 1,000th patient milestone

A service designed to help Medway residents stay well and independent in their own homes after leaving hospital has helped its 1,000th patient, less than a year after it was launched.


Home First, an initiative developed through the partnership of Medway Foundation Trust Hospital, Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Medway Council and Medway Community Healthcare, provides support for patients medically fit to be discharged, but who still require additional home support.


Barbara Littlewood, aged 87 from Allhallows, was the 1,000th Medway resident to be supported by Home First, after she was discharged following surgery on her knee. Commenting on the Home First service, Barbara Littlewood said:


“I’ve been so impressed by how efficient the staff were in getting me home. After my surgery and rest I was healthy and ready to get back to my daily routine, and they made sure I had all I needed to get around my home safely and independently.

“They also provided me with my lovely carer who has been giving me physiotherapy twice a week. For the first time today I was confident enough to take a walk with my son and he was so pleased to see me doing so well after everything that’s happened.”


Every Home First patient has a face to face assessment in their own home by an occupational therapist to discuss what social and/or health care is needed to help their recovery. A care plan is then jointly agreed with the patient, which can include equipment to restore patients back to their daily routine of getting around the home and preparing meals to receiving regular home visits from a healthcare professional.


Amanda Gibson, Lead Matron for Discharge at Medway Foundation Trust Hospital, said:


“Our absolute priority since starting Home First with our community partners has been to ensure that every patient who is discharged goes home with the right support in place in order for them to regain their health, independence and confidence. We know that patients deteriorate when held up in hospital so we are very proud to see the Home First program go from strength to strength and become a part of our daily discharge practice.”


The Home First scheme is funded through the Better Care Fund which allows local authorities and CCGs to spend jointly on social services and community services.


Caroline Selkirk, Accountable Officer for Medway CCG, said:


“We know that many people prefer to be supported in their own homes, close to friends or family carers. By having the Home First team in place it is easier for patients to get back into familiar routines and an independent lifestyle once a medical crisis has eased. Home First has been a success because it brings together health and social care services to deliver more joined-up personal services with staff providing care and working as part of the same team.”