Councils given top tips for implementing ‘home first’ hospital discharge policy


Local authorities in England have been issued with a set of top tips for implementing the home first hospital discharge policy, including providing enhanced support to domiciliary care providers.

The tips, published today by Local Government Association (LGA) and the Better Care Fund team, explain what councils can do in the next six months to improve patient flow, care and support after discharge and reduce unnecessary admissions.

The guide ‘Implementing the Home First Discharge Policy’ describes the Home First approach, whereby patients are supported to return to their home from hospital for assessment. 

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The tips include:

  • Provide enhanced health support to domiciliary care providers especially in the evenings and weekends as part of an admission avoidance scheme.
  • Create alternatives to domiciliary care directly from the hospital or reablement service – such as live-in care, personal assistants, voluntary sector, informal carer support, or 72hour /24hour wrap-around care provision.
  • Review all care at home to maximise the use of the scarce domiciliary care resources. Taking a person-centred approach, ensure that the levels of care enhance independence utilising digital technology or equipment; this includes asking the individual what they would like to be supported to go home.
  • Invite care provider, housing and voluntary sector colleagues to join escalation meetings. Encourage joint meetings with providers so everyone understands each other’s challenges and pressures – what makes a safe and timely discharge and what prevents one.
  • Revise local communication documents for individuals and families – post COVID and based on new discharge policy. Create scripts for staff in acute and community settings to use to help them explain the new policy.

Tags : home firsthospital discharges
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke