Home for Lunch: health board campaign to get patients home before noon

By Lucy Ashton

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board has launched a new winter campaign ‘Home for Lunch’ to encourage and support pre-noon discharge for those ready to go home wherever possible.

The campaign supports a wider set of initiatives to improve patient flow through hospitals which will positively impact overall patient care at all stages of the patient journey.

Home for Lunch specifically encourages families to make sure appropriate arrangements are in place to get their loved ones back into a home environment before noon on their designated day of discharge.

The benefits of an early discharge are five-fold and help improve care for patients right through the hospital system.

Primarily, the patient getting home in time for lunch gets back to a more comfortable home environment which avoids the well-known risks associated with prolonged hospital stays, especially with older patients. Additionally, a patient home in time for lunch frees up one more hospital bed allowing:

  • Acute Medical Assessment (AMU) patients to move into a specialist ward to get the right team around them for their care needs. 
  • A&E patients requiring rapid assessments to move into the AMU for treatment. 
  • Ambulances waiting be able to transfer patients into an A&E care environment. 
  • Freeing up of Ambulances to respond to new emergency calls in the community. 

As part of the campaign, patients and carers are being asked to check when they’re getting home so that appropriate arrangements can put in place to prevent any delay. For example:

  • Is transport in place to get the patient home? 
  • Does the patient have access to their accommodation? 
  • Do they have appropriate clothing for their discharge? 
  • Do they know they’ll be moved to the discharge lounge at 10am on the day of discharge?

The campaign bolsters a range of internal initiatives designed to the support staff to be able to make preparations ahead of time so that patients ready to go home can be moved to one of NHSGGC’s discharge lounges – or a similarly appropriate environment – pre-noon on the day of discharge.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, right,  said:  “We know that delays in discharge are adding to the pressure already on our services and the Scottish Government fully supports NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s ‘Home for Lunch’ initiative.

“This isn’t about discharging patients before they’re ready to go home, but making sure we remove any barriers for those who are ready so they can make the transition back home as seamless as possible, as early as possible.

“It’s good for the patient, and it supports patient flow right through our healthcare system to the ambulances and first responders out in our communities.”Scott Davidson, Deputy Medical Director for Acute Services at NHSGGC, said: “We’re well aware of the challenges facing the health care system and Home for Lunch is an initiative I think we can all get behind.

“No one wants to be in hospital any longer than necessary and similarly, no one wants to wait extended periods for treatment in A&E.

“If we can improve the efficiency of our discharges we know the positive impact this has on both the patients going home, but also the rate we can then look at treating the rest of our patients, so it’s in everyone’s interest to get Home for Lunch wherever possible.”
More information on the new campaign can be found on the NHSGGC website here, which includes a helpful advice for patients with regards to getting Home for Lunch on discharge day.

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