Prolonged stays in hospital are bad for patients, especially for those who are frail or elderly. Spending a long time in hospital can lead to an increased risk of sleep deprivation, catching infections and sometimes mental and physical deconditioning.
Sometimes, however, there can be a delay in getting people home safely, due to concerns people don’t have the things they needs to support their recovery, like food and wider support to help them at home.
This is when the Charis Shop can help.
Charis Shop – which provides hospital discharge teams with immediate access to funds to help them discharge a person safely home – is having a positive impact on reducing length of stay in hospital for mid and south Essex residents.
The scheme co-funded between Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System and Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, has seen integrated discharge teams reduce the length of patients’ stays in hospital beds, minimise the risk of being re-admitted, and reduce safety concerns. Overall, patients were able to return to their own homes sooner, supporting faster recovery and freeing up hospital beds for those who need it.
Recently, a patient with diabetes was recommended for discharge from hospital, concerns were raised about the ability of the patient to self-manage their insulin medication at home, as the patient had a history of mild cognitive impairment, which led them to forget whether they had taken their medication or not.
Initially, the discharge team recommended the patient be discharged to a 24-hour placement facility, to monitor and manage the concerns around medication, but the patient was adamant they wished to return to their own home.
To accommodate the patient’s wish to return home, the team used the Charis Shop to purchase a lockable cash tin box to store unopened insulin pens in the fridge as per medication directions. With the medication locked in a box, the patient would not be able to access fresh insulin pens without supervision. The code to the safe was given to the patients’ care agency, who were tasked with supporting the patient with medication needs at home and to the district nursing team, who were asked to support the patient administering insulin and monitoring of blood sugar glucose levels.
At the same time, it was also identified that the patient did not have food available in their home. The patient had no access to funds to support shopping and no family or friends locally to support this immediate need. The team used the Charis Shop to provide shopping vouchers and undertook shopping on behalf of the patient, to ensure they could remain safe and comfortable in their own home.