New hospital initiatives help patients return home sooner and offer more support to carers

Hospitals in BSW have announced details of a number of new initiatives designed to improve experiences for patients, help them return home sooner, and offer more help to carers.

At the Royal United Hospital in Bath, staff are encouraging inpatients to be more mobile through activities such as seated dancing, crafts and balloon volleyball to prevent them from getting weaker, reduce the risk of falls and reduce the time it takes for them to recover from illness or an operation.

The scheme is part of a national initiative called the Reconditioning Games, which aims to encourage healthcare settings to promote mental and physical wellbeing to improve patient outcomes.

Gemma Spicer, Quality Improvement Lead for Falls Prevention at the RUH, said: “We know that getting patients moving and keeping them mentally stimulated really can make a difference to their recovery time.

“We’ve seen first-hand the difference this has made to patients being discharged. Some have been able to leave us and get home sooner than expected, without needing to spend time in a local community hospital.”

Meanwhile, Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust in Swindon has launched a new initiative to make it easier for carers to access hospital services.

The new Carer Support Passport is available to all unpaid carers that are helping patients through their time in hospital. It has been designed to allow hospital staff to recognise carers more quickly, allowing them to be involved in discussions about the patient’s care where appropriate.

Unpaid carers can be of any age, and provide support to a family member, partner or friend who would otherwise be unable to manage without this support. While in hospital, there is no expectation for a carer to continue their role. However, GWH is committed to supporting carers who are involved in care as much as they, and the patient, want them to be.

To help GWH with this, the new Carer Support Passport provides an opportunity to document the agreed involvement in the care that will continue to be provided by the carer during the patient’s hospital stay.

The passport also makes it clear the support and benefits available to unpaid carers. This may include flexible visiting, being able to stay overnight and concessions on parking, food, and drinks.

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