Working with a range of partners from health and social care sectors, the project – which starts at the end of January – aims to reduce avoidable delays to hospital discharge, enabling patients to return to their home as soon as they are well enough. Funded by Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), we will be working with the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals team, preparing patients and their carers for discharge home and providing ongoing support once the patient is home.  Sheffield Carers Centre will partner with Voluntary Action Sheffield, Age UK, Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (STH) and Sheffield CCG.

It is often the case that a patient may be clinically well enough to go home, but something prevents this, meaning a longer stay in hospital than is needed.   This may be the need for a social care assessment for example, or for the required equipment and care packages to be organised in the community. The focus of the Carers Centre in this project will be to seek out and offer support to carers in the hospital, helping them to feel prepared and supported in their caring role.  We will be aiming to reach more carers as early as possible in their caring journey, making sure they know what support, advice, information is available to them through the Carers Centre.

Where required, patients will have their transport home and immediate practical needs met by SCCCC, enabling prompt discharge.  Patients will be supported by Age UK’s Independent Living Co-ordination service, ensuring their full non-medical needs are met, minimising the likelihood of readmission and enable discharged patients to regain and retain independence at home.

This will be an innovative project with we hope will demonstrate well the benefits of a collaborative approach by statutory and third sector organisations. We believe it will enable us to provide timely support to carers at a particularly anxious time and are looking forward to starting this work in January.