Launch of ‘Hospital at Home’ Pilot Project in Fermanagh and West Tyrone

03/02/2021

Our Acute Care at Home pilot project for Fermanagh and West Tyrone has been successfully launched to help make the ‘home’ the hub for delivering health and care for our elderly population.

A Hospital at Home service referred to as ‘Acute Care at Home’ has been in place in the Northern Sector of the Trust since 2014. This service is led by a Consultant Geriatrician and includes a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals. Acute Care at Home is a service that provides treatment by health care professionals in the person’s own home for a condition that would otherwise require acute hospital in-patient care. The Acute Care at Home service provides triage, assessment and treatment where appropriate as an alternative to in-patient care specifically for those who are at risk of requiring admission to hospital. The Acute Care at Home Team also support appropriate earlier discharge for those people who have required hospital admission.

It has been a priority of the Primary Care & Older People’s Directorate to replicate this service in the Fermanagh and Omagh area. In November 2020, a Hospital at Home Development Group was formed with representatives from Hospital Services in the South West Acute Hospital, Pharmacy and PCOP staff. The objective of this group is to develop and oversee an action plan to put in place a service test of a hospital at home service. With support from the Medical team in South West Acute Hospital, Pharmacy and the Rapid Response Nursing team a test of a hospital at home service was established on 14 December 20. This service test will initially involve working with 4 Care Homes in Enniskillen including Millcroft Care Home, The County Care Home, Meadow View Care Home and The Graan Abbey Nursing Home. The aim is to assess and treat residents in these Care Homes thus avoiding the need to attend ED and an admission to hospital.

Dr Kate Ryan, is the Speciality Doctor for the service and she is supported by the Rapid Response Nursing team in Fermanagh. Clinical Leadership to the service is provided by Dr Monica Monaghan, Consultant Cardiologist at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.

Speaking about the success of the Hospital at Home Pilot Project Dr Monica Monaghan, Western Trust Consultant Cardiologist explains: “I am delighted to be part of the launch of Hospital at Home Pilot initiative to transform the care of our patients and looking at an alternative pathway for the treatment of acutely unwell patients. We recognise that we have an increasingly elderly population and patients who remain in hospital for a particular long period of time are at increasing risk of hospital acquired infections and Covid-19. They are also out of their home environment and are at risk of delirium and at risk of falls.

 

Dr Monaghan continued: “Hospital at Home or Acute Care at Home is a pathway where these patients can receive the same standard of treatment in their own environment. The pilot project has reached out to a number of Nursing Homes and Residential Homes in the Enniskillen area initially. Patients are seen by a multi-disciplinary team lead by myself working with the support of my health care professional colleagues. Feedback from patients, families and carers and from Nursing and Residential Homes has been incredibly positive. We are able to treat elderly people at home to avoid unnecessary attendance in our Emergency Department, avoiding long waits at busy times in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our ambition is to extend this project beyond the pilot phase and establish this as a long term pathway for patients to be treated at home. We are very excited about how this will transform the care of our elderly population in the future.”