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Going home alone: counting the cost to older people and the NHS

Author(s)

ROYAL VOLUNTARY SERVICE

Publisher(s):

Royal Voluntary Service

Publication year:

2014

Assesses the impact of home from hospital services, which focus on supporting older people in their homes following a stay in hospital and seek to reduce the likelihood that they will need to be readmitted to hospital. The report brings together the findings of a literature review (as well as discussions with relevant experts), the results of the survey of 401 people aged 75 or over who had spent at least one night in hospital on one or more occasions within the past five years, and the outputs from a cost-impact analysis using national data and results from the survey. It sets out the policy context in England, Scotland and Wales, with its focus on preventive care, better integration of health and care services, and on shifting care away from the hospital into homes and communities. It then discusses the demand drivers for these schemes, including the ageing population, the growth in hospital readmissions, and decreasing length of stay. The report examines the experiences of older people after leaving hospital, looking at admissions, discharge, need for support following discharge, and type and duration of support. It suggests that home from hospital schemes can help to improve the well-being of their users and to reduce social isolation and loneliness and the number of hospital readmissions, as well as demand for other health and care services. The results of the cost-impact analysis suggest that, were home from hospital schemes appropriately targeted and effective in addressing ‘excess admissions’, they may produce a saving for the NHS of £40.4m per year. (Edited publisher abstract)


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