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Getting patients home for lunch

Graphic of man waiting by clock with bag

Graphic of man waiting by clock with bag

At University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust we have a continued focus on getting patients safely home from hospital. Derriford has launched a campaign with staff and families to help get patients ‘Home for Lunch’.

It’s much better for a patient’s physical and mental wellbeing if they can leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit for discharge. Long stays in hospital can result in physical deconditioning, greater risk of falls and exposure to infection, an increase in long term care needs and a reduction in mental wellbeing.

Kath Potts, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Winter Director of Operations, said: “With the cold weather now drawing in, we want to do all we can to get our patients home as soon as possible, and in daylight hours.

“Our top priority is to help patients get better and support them to leave hospital when the time is right. You'll only leave hospital when you no longer need hospital care, and it is safe to do so. Once you're well enough, the best place for you to recover is in the comfort of your own home.

“The ‘Home for Lunch’ campaign aims to get patients home from hospital whilst it’s still light, and ensure those who are collecting them are supporting them with everything they need when they are discharged safely home.”

Getting patients home for lunch improves their experience and means they feel more awake at the time of discharge, reduces unnecessary delays, is safer and more convenient for patients, families and carers. It also improves access to other services that might be needed, such as pharmacies and shops. Early discharges also help the hospital to accommodate new patients who need to be admitted from the Emergency Department.

Getting your loved one home for lunch

If your loved one is ready to leave hospital, your support can help them return home. Simple arrangements such as checking in, helping with meals and supporting with daily tasks mean that people can get home more quickly and will be supported to stay well.

Checklist for getting someone home from hospital

  • Is there somewhere clean and comfortable for them to recover?
  • Do they have clean clothes to come home in?
  • Is there lunch and dinner for their first day home?
  • Do they need any essentials such as food, drink or medicines?
  • During winter months consider switching on heating so they won’t be too cold.
  • If you’re driving, make sure you have checked the route and where to park. Find out about parking at Derriford Hospital here.

A new ‘Hospital to Home’ multidisciplinary team, with expertise in physiotherapy and occupational health, is dedicated to getting patients safely home. The team offers therapeutic care and rehabilitation in patients’ homes and provides support with tasks patients find difficult for a short period. The service has so far proved successful in helping more patients to return home to rehabilitate and prevent readmission.

Learn more about getting patients home from hospital.


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