The City of Wolverhampton Council's Community Support Team has been working alongside hospital teams to help get patients home as quickly and safely as possible to free up much needed beds.

The team, which has received additional funding from OneWolverhampton as part of plans to support hospital flow over winter, meets weekly with The Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust's Hospital Social Work team at New Cross Hospital to identify patients who are ready to go home, but may need some extra support once they get there. 

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "Quite often a patient might be well enough to go home but they are concerned about how they are going to cope once they get there. 

"Members of our Community Support Team spend time with patients ready to be discharged, find out if they have any concerns about going home and look at ways in which they can support them. This can be something as simple as arranging for the house to be cleaned, providing meals, or doing a weekly shop to getting the heating fixed or a new mattress for a bed. 

"This not only means that patients can recuperate in the comfort of their own home it also helps the hospital to free up beds knowing patients are safe in their home and reduces the risk of people ending up back in hospital.”

Sian Thomas, Director of Partnerships for OneWolverhampton, said: “Getting our patients home as quickly and safely as possible once they are well enough is so important for both their recovery and in terms of freeing up beds for people who need them. 

“The Community Support and Social Work teams do an excellent job at making sure their home is ready for them and any support they need to aid their recovery is put in place. This is key to reducing the risk of them having to come back to hospital.”

Feedback from patients has been positive with one person who received meals on wheels for a week after leaving hospital saying, ‘seeing someone each day and having a hot meal really helped when I came back from hospital’.

The reassurance it offers family members is also really important for their health and wellbeing, with one family member saying: 'I felt overwhelmed when dad was discharged home, but this really helped as it was one thing less to worry about’.

OneWolverhampton is a place based partnership of health, social care, voluntary and community organisations. For more information, please visit OneWolverhampton.