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Hospital care at home: an evaluation of a scheme for orthopaedic patients

Rink, Elizabeth, Sims, Jane, Walker, Rebecca and Pickard, Linda (1998) Hospital care at home: an evaluation of a scheme for orthopaedic patients. Health and Social Care in the Community, 6 (3). pp. 158-163. ISSN 0966-0410

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Identification Number: 10.1046/j.1365-2524.1998.00109.x


We report on an evaluation of the practicality and acceptability of the ‘Going Home Service’, an early discharge intensive patient support scheme for orthopaedic patients in their own homes. Patient outcomes were assessed in terms of health and functional status and the impact on patient's carers was assessed. Eight-seven patients who were successfully discharged from the service were compared with 17 patients readmitted to hospital prior to their discharge from the service, 44 patients suitable for the service who did not take it up and 15 patients discharged from hospital traditionally immediately prior to the service becoming operational. Data were collected via face to face semistructured interviews and note searching. Twenty-six of the patients' informal carers were also interviewed. The majority of patients in all four groups were elderly women, readmitted patients being significantly older than those successfully discharged. The readmitted patients were also more likely to have been admitted originally for traumatic surgery and less likely to have been independently mobile prior to the initial admission. Hospital length of stay was shorter amongst Going Home Service patients than those cared for traditionally, but the total episode of care was greater. Patients and carers were well satisfied with the service. Although there was no evidence that quality of life or functionality were affected by their early discharge, at three months post operation, there was some evidence that Going Home Service patients were experiencing less pain than those discharged traditionally. This early discharge service provided a good quality of health and social care for the majority of patients. However, it did not suit all patients and a minority were re-admitted. The findings reported here add to those obtained in other settings and highlight new aspects for consideration in the planning and delivery of high quality hospital at home schemes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2002 Wiley
Divisions: Social Policy
Personal Social Services Research Unit
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 12:12
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:42

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