The NHS will face the winter peak in demand with around 5500 fewer beds than last year, the Health Service Journal reported earlier this month.

Covid-19 precautions are behind much of the decline in numbers, for example infection control measures mean beds are more widely spaced and there’s less flexibility to transfer patients between wards.

What options do NHS Hospital leaders have to tackle the long waiting lists for operations with one or two fewer wards than the winter of 2019 – 2020?

The independent healthcare sector has been working alongside the NHS throughout the pandemic and continues to make a positive impact on NHS patients through this winter. In addition to private Hospital beds being available to NHS patients, there is another, largely untapped source of beds, those in the patient’s home.

There are, of course, many conditions which require the level of care only available in a hospital, however there are groups of patients who could receive hospital care at home, a ‘Hospital at Home’.

Patients in a Hospital at Home receive care from nurses and other care workers, trained and qualified to the same standards as those at a hospital, while their hospital consultant still retains medical accountability and regularly reviews their treatment.

Hospital at Home is very popular with patients who welcome the chance to recover in the familiar and peaceful surroundings of their own home.

HomeLink Healthcare is a CQC registered independent sector provider of Hospital at Home services to the NHS. By working with commissioners, hospital trusts and current community providers we can often release 20 – 30 hospital beds by introducing a Hospital at Home service.

A HomeLink Healthcare patient recently commented “Overall the service provided by the nursing care was excellent. They are kind, considerate, professional and caring.”

Andy Collett Head of Business Development

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