Reducing delayed discharge lead times and the pressure on health and social care teams this winter across the UK, by supporting family carers
Whether it’s a planned or unplanned hospital stay, family carers struggle to engage with well meaning, but pressured hospital teams.
During & post pandemic, the lack of appropriate guidance or support for carers to help their loved one prepare for admission, stay and discharge only increases the pressure on everyone.
This leads to:
- family carers feeling they can no longer carry on,
- health and social care teams being frustrated, and
- snowballing healthcare costs due to delayed discharge from hospital.
Health and social care professionals need urgent help to prevent delayed discharge from hospital.
On November 27th, Carers UK revealed how important it is that carers are supported and involved in discharge. Across the UK we currently have wards of patients that are medically fit for discharge, but can’t go home because of lack of family support.
“In terms of discharge from hospital, probably 65 to 75 per cent of the patients currently in hospital awaiting discharge are not waiting for care packages, they could just go home.
There’s a whole range of reasons why people are unwilling to leave hospitals. Quite often older people feel a lot safer where they are. There are a range of reasons which we are working through. It’s about persuading them to go home.” Sir Richard Lees, NHS (Manchester Evening News)
In response to this crisis, Bridgit Care has launched a new version of their digital carer support solution to alleviate winter pressures.
Bridgit Care helps hospital and social care teams engage family carers earlier in patient discharge, for timely discharge.
GPs, Hospital Admission teams, or carer support services can refer carers to the Bridgit Carer digital support service.
By accessing a simple online support service, family carers are prepared by a Bridgit discharge support team which includes support from a GP, Physio, Occupational Therapist and a Wellness and Care coach), via a set of pre-recorded videos. The videos guide the carer through the admission, stay and discharge process, helping them understand what to expect, andwhat actions they can take to help a loved one prepare for and recover from treatment. These videos can be personalised for each region as well, to bring in local voices.
Family carers gain empowering information through the online service and then receive a personalised support plan, including:
- Tips and ideas in the caring role,
- Video support and guidance,
- Online carer support chat,
- and signposting to local services and events.
The support plan is a living reference aid, continuously updated over time.
After completing the initial on-line form, the carer has 12 months of support from their online Bridgit support team, their local carer community, and also receives regular personalised support emails from the Bridgit Care team (localised with content and branding from the region).
“Hospital stays can be stressful. For the person receiving care and the friend or family member looking after them. Contacting the hospital care team can be a struggle because of Covid too. And while the person receiving hospital care has support, the carer outside the hospital is often worried and uncertain about the future. That’s why Bridgit’s support is so important to me right now.” Emma, Carer
Unpaid family carers save the economy £19,336 per year by supporting the NHS. Just £10 per carer provides this 12-month digital support package for carers and their loved ones – before, during and after hospital stays.
Local Authorities and NHS Organisations may be able to utilise winter pressures tech funding or the Better Care fund to support their family carer communities with this approach. Given the high demand and urgency for this service in response to winter pressures please book your session with the Bridgit Care team as soon as possible and secure your deployment slot.