Older Peoples Medicine
What is the hospital at home team?
We provide healthcare at home as an alternative to hospital admission, for up to 14 days.
- At our first visit we assess you, take blood tests, examine you, make diagnoses and make a plan for your treatment and healthcare with you.
- We will provide a written summary of what we are treating you for, any medication changes and provide contact numbers.
- We provide up to once daily home visits or telephone calls to monitor your observations, take bloods, ordering x-rays and scans and acting on the results, and review your medication.
- With your permission, we will liaise with other health and social care teams to support your care.
- We formulate an escalation plan with you, so that you and your family know what to do if your condition deteriorates whilst in our care.
Who is on the team?
- Doctors including GPs and Consultants
- Nurses including nurse practitioners
Physiotherapists and occupational therapists
Healthcare support workers
How long do I spend as a patient with the team?
This will be different for each patient and depends on your healthcare needs but is usually between 1 and 14 days.
The Hospital at Home service provides a short-term service, five days a week, between 8am and 8pm.
How do I contact the team?
The team can be contacted on 07974 608855 between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.
If you require assistance out of hours, please call 111 or 999 in an emergency (or you may be given other numbers to call in specific situations, this will be discussed with you).
You can also email us on [email protected], and this inbox is checked once daily in the morning.
Shared decision making
We want you to feel in control of your own healthcare, and to be a partner in decisions about your care wherever possible.
- In situations where there is a clear decision to be made (for example, a certain medication is making you unwell), we will simply advise you what to do.
- In situations where there is more than one possible outcome, we will discuss with you what these options might be and inform you of the pros and cons to each approach. We will then decide, together, what you want to do.
We can use our experience from other patients we have treated to help guide you if needed.
We might ask things like “Would you want to go back into hospital if things got worse?”,
“Would you want to have a scan done to look at this or would you prefer just to watch and wait to see if you get more symptoms?”.
What do I do if I become unwell?
We will decide what to do based on our escalation discussions. This may include coming into hospital, or may involve different treatments at home, depending on your wishes.
For some patients we will also provide an Emergency Health Care Plan, after discussion and agreement between you, your family and the team.
What are the advantages to being treated at home?
- Some patients recover more quickly when treated in their own homes, because of the familiarity of their own environment, ability to move around more easily and access to friends, neighbours and family.
- In hospital it is very common to experience a decline in mobility, delirium (increased confusion), a prolonged hospital stay with multiple ward moves, infections and low mood.
- It is often easier to access regular, familiar food and drink while at home. This is because friends, family and carers know what you might like, and it can be accessed any time.
- For some people the stress of having to physically get to hospital is exhausting and can make them feel worse.
- You are aware of and take your usual medication so there is much less risk of any errors being made.
What can’t we provide at home?
- We cannot yet provide any significant, extra care if you are needing someone with you all the time, especially overnight.
- We do not provide continuous monitoring.
- We cannot provide complex intravenous therapy (we can arrange more simple therapy).
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.