New partnership initiative to support the vulnerable launched

New partnership initiative to support the vulnerable launched

We’re always looking for new ways to work with partners to support those who are most vulnerable in Staffordshire, and that’s why we’ve launched a new initiative to help those most in need in their home and to help alleviate pressures on the NHS.  

Following last year's launch of our falls response service, which earned us two national awards, we are pleased to announce a new local scheme called Home From Hospital.

It sees patients from Royal Stoke University Hospital being collected and taken to their homes when they are discharged. There, they are given personalised care and attention, to make sure that they’re protected in their own homes and offered potentially life-saving support.

This new initiative is carried out by specially appointed Fire and Health Partnership Technicians, who provide the following services:
• Seating the patient appropriately and comfortably, ensuring they have toilet access
• Checking their lighting, heating and water
• Testing the Lifeline alarm system, if they have one
• Conducting basic security checks
• Ensuring they have access to a phone and necessary charging facilities
• Removing obstacles and other trip hazards
• Providing refreshments
• Checking for trip hazards and minimising risk
• Safe and Well checks, including the fitting of smoke detectors.

As of 19 April, we have already supported over 550 patients through the service.

Ian Read, Head of Prevent, Protect and Partnerships at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I am delighted that the Home From Hospital service is now up and running.

"Serving our communities, and especially the most vulnerable, remains a priority for us, and I believe that this new initiative is just the latest endorsement of that.

"Our hope is that this will provide a welcome supplement to the valuable existing discharge services. With the additional capacity and 'settling in' element that we are offering, we are ensuring that all patients will get the appropriate care.

"I think it's the personal touch makes all the difference. Treating people with dignity, respect and humanity has always been at the forefront of everything that we do, and we expect that to only strengthen through the scheme.

"To have supported over 550 patients within its first few months is an incredible achievement, and I look forward to seeing those numbers increase in the time to come."

Hayley Bishop, Director of Integrated Discharge at Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This incredible service has supported more than 550 patients since December 2023 and in most cases the patient was returned home within an hour of the request.  

"This responsiveness has enabled beds at Royal Stoke University Hospital to be released earlier in the day and ensure our older patients who live alone are home before dark and feel settled back at home, with the assurance they are both safe and warm.

“It has been an exceptional project to work alongside and the Integrated Discharge Hub team at Royal Stoke have all found working with the fire service a very positive experience. The fire service has made a real difference to our teams and our patients as evidenced by the feedback we have all received.”

To read more about last year's double-award win for the falls response service, please visit: Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service wins NFCC partnership working award