Health and care services are working closer together to provide more out of hospital care, because there really is no place like home.
Hospital is the right place for some treatments and sometimes a stay can not be avoided. When this happens we aim to get you home as soon as it’s safe to do so because evidence shows that people often recover quicker at home.
Helping you to manage your conditions, keep well and stay at home is great for you but it also helps us to make better use of our limited health and care resources.
Why there really is no place like home
Evidence shows that you'll recover quicker at home, if you have the right support in place, here’s why:
If you stay in bed for long periods you lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength. This makes it harder for you to regain your independence. Getting up, dressed and moving helps maintain muscle strength and your ability to do things for yourself.
Good sleep is essential for a long and healthy life but it’s even more important when you're recovering from an injury or illness. Hospitals are busy places with lights, talking and noises from equipment, which can cause sleep deprivation. There’s no bed like your own bed when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
Being in familiar surroundings with support from your loved ones is one of the best things for mental wellbeing. Hospitals are unfamiliar and can be very confusing which increases your risk of developing delirium (sudden confusion).
When you're unwell you're often less resistant to infections. We do everything we can to prevent you from developing an infection but the risk is usually lower at home where there are fewer unwell people under one roof.
Integrated Care Communities
Health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and communities are all working together as one team to support the health and wellbeing of local people through the development of 8 Integrated Care Communities (ICCs).
In north Cumbria, the ICCs are based on groups of GP practices and their patients. The aim for each ICC is to work together to improve the overall health and wellbeing of their community.
We do this by:
- joining up health and care services so we can work better together
- providing more care out of hospital where possible
- supporting people so they have more information about their health conditions
Putting our plans into action
A new checklist and information sheet for patients, families and carers has been launched at Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.
The checklist gives you information to help you or your loved one while in hospital, as well as providing you with a list of questions you can ask ward staff.
Feedback suggests that some patients do not always understand why they're still in hospital or what needs to happen before they're able to go home. The checklist allows you to lead the conversation with your care professionals and go through key questions to help your understand what's happening.
You can view an online version of the checklist here. It includes useful information about how to prevent infections and accidents as well as questions like:
- have there been any changes made to my care today?
- what tests am I waiting for and when will they be carried out?
Before the checklist was published, it was tested with patients on wards at Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital and with local 3rd sector groups.
Maryport day unit
Maryport Community Hospital has undergone a huge renovation project to upgrade the former inpatient unit to a state-of-the-art day unit.
The day unit provides:
- support for patients 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm
- a transfusion suite with fully reclining chairs for therapies such as blood transfusions and IV antibiotics
- clinical rooms for dressings, venepuncture, bladder scanning, catheterisation and other minor procedures
- an ambulatory care assessment bay where patients can receive observations and ECG monitoring
- a rehab centre based with gym facilities
The day unit has also:
- improved links with the ambulance service who can now refer directly to the day unit, reducing unnecessary hosptial admissions
- the rehabilitation team's extended hours of service will improve rapid response time and increase support to the local community
The Maryport and Cockermouth ICC hub is also based at the hospital, through which a range of outpatient and other clinics can be arranged such as: