Relatives being taught to give patients injections

13 January 2017

People are being taught how to give their relatives injections and how to look after them at home in a bid to free up hospital beds, according to community health officials

They are also warning that some people may find themselves discharged to a community hospital some way from their home or in a temporary care home place

It is hoped that freeing up beds quicker will help ease the overflowing A&E department at Leicester Royal Infirmary

Bosses at Leicester's hospitals declared a "system critical alert" on Tuesday as staff tried to cope with hundreds of patients needing emergency treatment and admission

However, there are assurances that only patients who are medically fit will be discharged and relatives will be given all the support they need to look after them

They say that patients recover more quickly at home than if they were in hospital

Dr Nick Willmott, a GP in Hinckley and clinical lead for the West Leicestershire clinical commissioning group, which plans and pays for local health services, is appealing for people's support in looking after their relatives leaving hospital

"When a patient is ready to be discharged, their needs will be assessed and a care plan will be drawn up, detailing the health and social care support which they need to recover, as well as any equipment they need," he said

"The hospital will support people to know how to care for their loved one and people shouldn't be afraid to ask questions to make sure they are confident in any particular techniques they will need

"The idea of supporting recovery may seem daunting at first, but learning these basic techniques, such as administering injections or supporting someone to move from their chair to their bed in the correct way means that a loved one can be discharged earlier, and ultimately recover more quickly at home.

Those patients who can still be discharged to their home, but need more intensive support may be cared for by the intensive community support service, which offers nursing care, physiotherapy and some social care in the patient's home

This service can care for up to 256 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and has proved extremely popular with patients

Patients who still need to be in hospital care but no longer need acute care may be moved to a bed in one of the eight community hospitals across the area where they will receive help with re-ablement and rehabilitation

In some cases people may be discharged to a care home on a temporary basis.

Dr Willmott added: "Although we always try to place patients in community hospitals close to their homes, or to discharge them to their own homes, this is not always possible, particularly when the system is busy.

"We're asking for people to be supportive and to understand that the NHS needs to focus on ensuring that they, or their loved one, are cared for in safe surroundings where they can receive the support they need.

"We're asking people to be prepared to support their loved ones to recover at home wherever possible."


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