‘Pop-up’ step-down services: the key to bridging the acute care to social care gap
At Pulse Nursing at Home, we are committed to supporting the NHS during this incredibly challenging time. As part of the wider Acacium Group, we have worked closely with the NHS over the past year to help provide insight-led solutions where they are needed the most. One of these unique innovations is our new ‘pop-up’ step-down service to address Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOCs).
DTOCs occur when patients are unable to be discharged from hospital. Delays are often caused when the patient’s home or supported care facility is not ready to receive them or suitable transport cannot be arranged. DTOCs, therefore, measure the efficiency of the interface between hospital community and residential social care – and if the latter two do not have enough support and capacity then hospital discharges will be delayed.
Even before the pandemic, DTOCs were increasing. Across acute and non-acute NHS organisations, over 5,300 beds were affected by a DTOC in February 2020 – an increase of 20% from the year before. The pandemic only highlighted the problems that already existed - every delayed transfer imposes an unnecessary constraint on NHS capacity, as well as causing considerable distress and unnecessary stays in hospitals for patients.
What’s the solution?
We have worked closely with the NHS to create ‘pop-up’ step down services in areas where the pressure on the acute sector is greatest. Our Step Down service provides high-quality care for patients who are clinically optimised but cannot yet return home or to their care home setting.
Whether the cause is COVID-19 or more traditional bed blocking, we work with hospital discharge teams to create safe environments to discharge patients into. Working in collaboration with the NHS to support people of all ages and conditions through rehabilitation. Whether that be short-term reablement for patients to facilitate a safe and timely return to their home setting or step down care for individuals with complex needs ahead of finding specialist accommodation or enablement of their own homes.
The speed at which this service can be deployed is unique and a game-changer in terms of flexibility. We believe that this offering will fundamentally change how Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities can create safe environments to discharge patients into; reducing delays, creating community capacity and improving patients’ experiences.
You can read more about the insights and unique services which Acacium Group has produced here