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NHS asks for public help to get patients home for Christmas - 17 December 2018

NHS asks for public help to get patients home for Christmas - 17 December 2018

NHS staff in Somerset are calling for public support to help them get people home in time for Christmas this year.

Each year, hundreds of Somerset patients spend Christmas Day in hospital; while this may be the right place for many, for most it is the last place they want to be.

“We know how important it is for people to be back home with family, friends and neighbours at Christmas which is why we’re doing everything we can to make this happen for patients in our hospitals,” said Alison Wootton, Deputy Chief Nurse for Somerset Partnership and Musgrove Park Hospital.

 "This is a real team effort. Doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, radiographers, social workers, and a range of other staff will be working together to make sure everyone who is well enough can leave hospital and wake up to Christmas in their own bed at home. That means getting treatments completed, medications ready, assessments done, and ongoing care plans finalised.”

With the NHS and social care partners’ work already underway, they are now asking those who have relatives, friends and neighbours staying in hospital to help out. 

“We can’t do this alone," said Mandy Carney, Associate Director of Urgent Care at Yeovil Hospital.

“A patient may be well enough to leave hospital and have all of the right support in place, but we need to know that when they get home they will be safe, warm and supported to enjoy their Christmas. So there are a few things we’re asking people to do.

“First stay contact with the ward so you know when we are planning to discharge your friend or relative home. That way you can make any necessary arrangement, and can understand things such as medications which they may need to take when they’re home

“If your friend or relative is going back to their own home, pop round to make sure the heating is on, there’s food and milk in the fridge, and it’s safe for someone who may be feeling a little frail – so no trip hazards like trailing cables.”

“And do what you can to help us get the patient home. Whilst there is NHS funded transport for some patients, is it really there to be used only for patients who have no alternative or who are going on to another NHS or social care service. If you can help take a relative, friend or neighbour patient home when they are ready to leave it helps the NHS, and it helps the patient get home more quickly.” 

The Trusts are also taking to social media to share the message with their thousands of followers. Find out more by following @Yeovil Hospital @Musgrove Park @SomParNHS(Twitter) and with the hashtags #backhome4christmas and #gettingyouhohohome. Or search for each trust by name on Facebook.