Help loved ones back to their home comforts sooner

By Lucy Ashton

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is calling for patient families and friends to support its ‘Home for Lunch’ initiative, to enable loved ones to be discharged from hospital sooner on the day that they are ready to go home.

‘Home for Lunch’ is an initiative that encourages hospital patient friends and families to make the necessary arrangements for their loved ones to prepare to get them home before midday on their designated day of discharge.

When patients are well enough to leave hospital, they will be moved to a hospital discharge lounge or, where relevant, social space around 10am. They will comfortably wait here for a friend or family member to assist them home. The initiative will positively impact overall care at all stages of the patient journey and links with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s aim to discharge 40% of patients by noon.

As winter approaches, the season where hospital admissions are traditionally at their highest, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is reminding those that are collecting patients of the key actions they need to take to ensure a pre-noon discharge can take place.

This starts with checking in with nurses to get an idea of when the patient may be ready to leave hospital, ensuring that the patient is clear that they will be moved to the discharge lounge at 10am on the day they’re leaving hospital, and that they have the following in place.

  • Patient transport.
  • Access to the patient’s accommodation.
  • Appropriate clothing for the patient to wear when leaving the hospital.

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.

Primarily, the patient getting home in time for lunch gets them 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.
Commenting, Morag Gardner, Deputy Nurse Director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:
“We are incredibly grateful and thankful in advance to patient friends and families, as well as the staff, that support and encourage Home for Lunch this winter. Making a few simple arrangements in advance can make a huge difference and the patient transition from hospital to home as seamless as possible.“If a patient is well enough to leave hospital, the last thing they want to be doing is waiting around on the ward to go home. Equally, it is better for their overall recovery to be in the comfort of their home. This campaign enables that and, in doing so, we improve discharge efficiency and relieve pressures for overall hospital flow. This becomes increasingly vital in the winter months.”

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