Innovative success of Hospital at Home attracts international interest
The innovation and success of the NHS Hospital at Home service in Hertfordshire has attracted international interest from health officials in Singapore. A group of delegates from Singapore’s Ministry for Healthcare Transformation visited Hertfordshire this month (4 April 2023) on an information sharing trip to learn more about how the NHS looks after patients remotely in their own home through the service.
The delegates who are part of a group working on a similar model in Singapore visited the service’s Care Coordination Centre in Stevenage to learn more about the Herts based NHS service model which provides care which would have traditionally been delivered in hospital care to patients in the comfort of their own home. This includes face-to-face nursing care and therapy, and remote monitoring services for a range of conditions for up to two weeks. This care is provided by doctors, nurses, therapists, paramedics and pharmacists.
The Singapore delegation learnt how the service has benefitted more than 4,000 patients in Hertfordshire since being launched last year. It was developed from Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust’s Prevention of Admission service in 2020 in response to the pandemic. Now the service cares for patients with a wide range of needs including treatment for acute infections, lung conditions and heart failure.
The visitors also saw the service’s remote monitoring system and equipment, supplied by Doccla, in action and learnt more about how the service will develop in the future. Developments over the past year include increasing the number of frail, unwell patients who can be cared for at home, working with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust to identify patients suitable for Hospital at Home to avoid unnecessary hospital visits, and a pilot which saw patients at Lister Hospital in Stevenage return home more quickly after a knee or hip operation.
The Singapore delegation were highly appreciative of the opportunity to see the service model in action. Other countries have also expressed an interest in coming to Hertfordshire to learn from the service team. Last month leaders from NHS England’s Transformation programme also visited the service to learn more about the model of acute clinicians working in community healthcare to benefit patients’ care.
Marion Dunstone, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust’s chief operating officer, said: “It was wonderful to welcome our international visitors from Singapore who took a keen interest in the way the model has been set-up and the make-up of the team. The service has developed at pace over the past year, and it has been wonderful to share the success and learnings with others.
“We have helped thousands of people to stay independent, avoid hospital-related complications, and even improve their recovery time thanks to being at home.
“The added benefit for the NHS and other health systems around the world is a service model like this also reduces the pressure on acute hospital services. It is a very good example of how health and care partnerships can work together for the benefit of our patients – and we continue to look at how we can improve and develop the service going forwards.”
You can find out more about Hospital at Home on our website.