The challenges of hospital discharges

HospitalThere have been a number of recent news articles relating to the challenges currently being faced by families trying to get their elderly relatives discharged from hospital and into a social care setting. These were prompted by a recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) highlighting the estimated cost of delayed hospital discharges to the NHS (£820m a year) but more importantly the impact on the health and wellbeing of an elderly person, as they can lose 5% of their muscle strength every day they are in hospital.

One of the biggest causes of delay is the arrangement of care services in the community, as wards have to refer to social services for an assessment, a social worker has to undertake and process the assessment and then has to take appropriate actions. Their actions and decisions vary based on whether the elderly person qualifies for social care services or is deemed to be self-funding, as “self-funders” and their family are expected to arrange their own care services and are given very little help and advice about what they are expected to do. They may be given a book or directed to a website which contains some general information and a directory of local services but that is usually the extent of the help offered and all at a time of anxiety and stress.

Lynn Osborne of Clarity Care ConsultingThe main reason I set up Clarity Care Consulting was that I had seen these issues many times during my time managing a home care service and wanted to fill the void that currently exists in the health and social care system. The professional services we offer to help people find care and then continuing to monitor those services if required have been incredibly helpful to many and I look forward to continuing to help those who need care but do not qualify for help from social services or do not want to use them, for their own personal reasons.

challengeThe biggest challenge I face at the moment is making health and social care professionals aware of our services and getting them to overcome their reticence to recommend a service that is paid for, but I am pleased to say that this is beginning to change and more and more health and social care professionals are working with us and those that do give us very positive feedback.

If you or anybody you know are currently trying to find care services for an elderly relative or loved one, please call us on 02392 251351 or complete the form below and we will help.

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