The British Red Cross developed the Home from Hospital Service to address the issues of delayed discharge of inpatients and avoidable re-admissions to A&E departments. The service is for inpatients who are medically ready to leave St Thomas’ Hospital, but have a delayed discharge as they require support to return home and to avoid re-admission to hopsital. The service helps to identify patients requiring assistance and provides a tailored package of practical and emotional support - at home, for a period of up to 6 weeks.
In 2019, M·E·L Research was commissioned by the British Red Cross to carry out an Evaluation of the Home from Hospital Service (2014-2018) at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The strategic aim of the evaluation was to understand the impact of the service to help drive continuous service improvement, and to provide an evidence base to enable British Red Cross in reaching out to future partners and funders.
The evaluation considered the rationale behind the service, referral criteria, resources to deliver the service, activities, and outputs and outcomes for patients, staff and stakeholders. Our methodology involved analysis of existing service performance data and patient feedback results, and depth interviews with patients and Home from Hospital staff. Stakeholder consultation involved representatives from teams in the Trust, including: Transfer of Care Navigators, the Discharge Planning Team, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Social Workers, nurses, and representatives of Third Sector organisations that provide support in the longer term.
The final report presented the evaluation findings, our conclusions, and a set of eighteen recommendations for the British Red Cross and Trust to consider.