Hospital Discharge – We Need Your Help

5th October 2021

With hospitals under immense pressure and demand for acute hospital beds at an all-time high, the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust is appealing for help from patients and families when it comes to discharge from hospital, when medically fit, into a care home.

There are currently a number of unoccupied beds in care homes throughout the South Eastern Trust area that could be used initially to help free space within our hospitals for other very ill patients, which would reduce pressures.  Whilst we appreciate this may not be a first choice placement, we would appeal to you to consider taking up this offer to help us help you.  This may mean that while the initial support required to return home is set up, or if a patient needs to consider a long term permanent move to a care home, a move to a “step down” bed will be required.

The Trust works in partnership with approximately 100 nursing and residential care homes across the local area to provide placements that meet the needs of existing and new residents to ensure people are cared for in the right place at the right time.

The services that care homes provide are monitored by the Trust and regulated by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.  Everyone placed in a care home by the Trust will have an individualised care plan in place to ensure their assessed care needs are met.  A Key Worker will also be assigned from the Trust to support them.  Care homes have suitably trained staff in place to support people to recover and to provide the care the Trust is asking them to provide.

Julie Davidson, Assistant Director Contracts, Social Care Procurement & Commissioning  says “Trust staff may identify an initial care home placement for a patient to move to, this will require timely discharge from hospital and will help free up an acute bed that has been assessed by Trust Staff as no longer required by that patient and is safe for them to move.  Once in this placement, the person along with their family, supported by a Social Worker can consider the long term options that are available to them.”

“There are currently a wide range of beds available across the care home sector and we would appeal to patients and their families who are being asked to discharge from hospital to a care home do so without delay.  With the support of Trust Social Work staff, patients and their families can then make longer term informed decisions regarding the care home of their choice.”

It is more important than ever, given the unprecedented demand for acute beds to make sure that beds are available to those that need them the most.