Elderly people in Sheffield will be given more help in the community to leave hospital quickly and keep them safe, well and independent.
Sheffield Council has drawn up an action plan to tackle concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which reviewed 20 councils in different parts of the country in the winter of 2017.
Sheffield was chosen because performance was not as good as many other parts of the country on a number of measures. The Department of Health and Social Care said older people in Sheffield were more likely than most places to be admitted to hospital.
They were much more likely to stay an extended time and less likely to stay at home in the longer term once they left hospital. When they needed support in their own home to be able to leave hospital, it often took a significant time to arrange this.
Sheffield Council says there will now be a focus on better community wellbeing and prevention to reduce avoidable hospital admissions. There will be better planning and coordination inside and outside hospital to ensure older people return home as soon as their treatment is complete.
Community support will help older people leave hospital quickly and keep them safe, well and independent for as long as possible in their own home.
Councillor Chris Peace, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “Like many other areas of the country we know we have challenges in terms of meeting the increasing need for short and long term support after people are discharged from hospital.
“We have been working hard to address this over the last two years including increasing staff numbers and care home places and investing in projects which help keep people well and avoid hospital admissions.
“We are already starting to see improvements and as the report recommends, we will continue to work with our staff, service users and carers to help us achieve this.
“We will keep improving the way we work together so that we can deliver the best possible health and social care services to all our communities.”
There will be a citywide workforce strategy to support frontline staff and stronger joint working between organisations with greater involvement with voluntary, community and faith sectors.
There will be a policy of the right support from the right person in the right place at the right time, to give the best possible experience for older people and to ensure the best use of resources.
All patients should have a planned discharge date and those with a long length of stay should be frequently reviewed. Bosses say these are of “vital importance” in ensuring that patients receive timely and safe care in the most appropriate location.
Older people should be able to return home as soon as their hospital care is complete. There should be conversations with carers and professionals who know the older person in the community and can help make decisions.
Health chiefs say they need to ensure that the voice of the older person, and those who care for them in their home, is heard and listened to.
The CQC report can be viewed here https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20180522_local_system_review_sheffield.pdf