One of the biggest challenges facing the NHS is getting patients back home or into new accommodation when they are ready to leave hospital. It is complicated problem and any delays in the process have serious financial as well as clinical implications.
NHS commissioners and providers, social care and housing providers, and welfare services all need to work together. Some of the most vulnerable people in society can be left isolated, disorientated and in unsuitable accommodation.
Academic research applied directly to policy and practice
We are working with Mansfield District Council to understand the return on investment from their hospital discharge scheme at Kings Mill Hospital. In Mansfield, an initial three-month pilot was successful enough for NTU's Nottingham Business School to be commissioned to provide a full year assessment.
This second phase showed the discharge scheme could save the hospital and the NHS over £1.3m a year. More recently, the scheme is being rolled out in other parts of the country after the project was voted the best projects for Shared Learning at the National Institution for Health and Social Care Excellence Awards.
Involving stakeholders every step of the way
The research team has been led by Professor Pete Murphy and Dr Donald Harradine from Nottingham Business School. They have been collaborating with a large number of external partners including:
- Mansfield District Council (and surrounding District Councils)
- Nottinghamshire County Council
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group
- Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group
- Welfare Services
"If one were to scale up this work it would be massive across the UK. Savings of this magnitude would go a long way towards funding 7-day secondary care"
Dr Mark Holland, President of the Society of Acute Medicine
This research falls under the theme of Health & Wellbeing.