Frequently asked questions

Why does the NHS partner with HomeLink Healthcare?

HomeLink Healthcare provides flexible additional clinical capacity to the NHS at a lower cost than the NHS.

Our partnerships with the NHS are based on clear outcome measures and KPIs, giving clarity and reassurance about the services we provide.

We provide safe, high-quality clinical care. HomeLink Healthcare is rated as “overall good” by the CQC.

We become an integral part of local NHS teams where it operates.

Our Hospital at Home services offer multiple benefits (see below).

What services does HomeLink Healthcare provide?

HomeLink Healthcare provides a single service – Hospital at Home. Within this we support four key pathways:

• Virtual Ward
• Early Supported Discharge
• Admission Avoidance
• Reablement

Within each pathway there are a number of key interventions. Please see our hospital at home services page for more information


Does HomeLink Healthcare provide care to patients residing in care homes?

Yes. We provide care to patients in a range of settings including care homes, assisted living services, at home or any other setting appropriate to the needs of our patients.

What skills and competencies do HomeLink Healthcare staff have?

All clinically qualified staff hold professional registrations with their governing body and have a range of skills and experience.

Our registered nurses and therapists have a minimum of three years post registration experience in community and acute care.

Our healthcare support workers and reablement support workers are all qualified to NVQ level 3 or equivalent.

All team members complete a comprehensive induction programme, including a core competency framework and lone working sign off. Ongoing training and supervised practice ensures continuous professional development.

Does HomeLink Healthcare recruitment impact on the NHS workforce?

HomeLink Healthcare ensure recruitment has no impact on local NHS services. Our clinical teams are established and comprise clinicians from a range of backgrounds. Some may have already left NHS employment or work part-time with the NHS and HomeLink Healthcare.

How are HomeLink Healthcare services procured?

To remove barriers and administration when commissioning our services, HomeLink Healthcare is pre-qualified on several NHS procurement frameworks:

• NHS SBS Medical Care at Home Framework.
• Norfolk and Waveney CHC
• Cambridge and Peterborough Early Intervention and Prevention

Alternatively, clients can contract directly with HomeLink Healthcare. Please see the work with us page for more information.

How environmentally conscious is HomeLink Healthcare as an organisation?

HomeLink Healthcare takes Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) seriously. We are committed to exceeding NHS independent sector targets. HomeLink Healthcare has an ESG committee that implements initiatives and tracks our progress to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Initiatives include:

• reducing unwarranted travel times through use of our scheduling system, which also increases efficiency.
• using a zero-emission car service where we are responsible patient transport
• purchasing bio-degradable aprons when we are responsible for providing PPE
• being a digital, paper-free organisation

Read an example of how the whole team got involved in ESG here.

Is HomeLink Healthcare a clinical staffing agency?

No, we are not an agency. We supply a range of fully managed and governed clinical services.

Are virtual wards considered as additional 'bed stock' or a substitute for existing hospital beds?

Yes. Virtual wards provide additional bed capacity to through delivery of safe, effective hospital type clinical care at home.

How long do HomeLink Healthcare services take to mobilise?

Our services take between 4 and 12 weeks to mobilise. The main variables affecting this are:

• service requirements
• if HomeLink Healthcare has existing services are in the area
• governance arrangements

Is good discharge practice still applied in a virtual ward setting e.g. ward rounds, observations, estimated discharge dates etc?

Yes and where possible, a discharge date from the virtual ward is planned before a patient is transferred to our service. Consultants and GPs are kept up to date with patient progress during their treatment at intervals that they decide on.

Does HomeLink Healthcare supply technology for virtual wards?

We have relationships with top providers of remote monitoring equipment, both intermittent and continuous, which be included into our provision.

Alternately, we are happy to use equipment already purchased by the NHS.

Do HomeLink Healthcare services create more work for hospital staff?

Our NHS partners feedback that our services reduce their work and provide additional clinical oversight of their outlying patients.

How does HomeLink Healthcare work with consultants and ward teams?

We engage with consultants and ward teams from the outset to design service specifications and the mobilisation process.

Once a service has commenced, our hospital-based clinical leads are fully integrated with hospital teams. They collaborate with consultants, ward and discharge teams to manage patient flow, ensure safe transfer and discharges and on ongoing care.

If a patient is transferred to a virtual ward consultants retain clinical accountability.

How is a new service pathway put in place?

HomeLink has a proven track record of setting up new services using the tried and tested PRINCE 2 methodology. During the mobilisation phase we work with our NHS partners to co-design and develop the service from referral, pathway design, clinical governance, information governance, and reporting through to contractual monitoring and management. Before any service goes ‘live’ there are processes to robustly test the service to ensure patient safety. Once a service is safe to go live, we offer a four week period of intensive support, to ensure that the service delivers to contractual and stakeholder expectations and agreement.

What are the benefits of HomeLink Healthcare’s Hospital at Home services?

We are experts in reviewing client needs and flexible, so that we provide bespoke solutions to meet those needs.

HomeLink Healthcare increases NHS Hospital and Community Trust capacity at a lower cost than the NHS.

We improve patient flow through the hospital, with a significant reduction in readmittance.

Our services give faster patient recovery and improved patient outcomes

A well-established workforce recruitment team, using the latest systems supported by local networks.

We are prequalified on the NHS SBS Medical Care at Home procurement framework. This provides a speedier contracting process within an approved framework.

Click here to find out more about our services.

What experience does HomeLink Healthcare have in providing Hospital at Home services?

We have provided a range of clinical pathways to multiple NHS Trusts and ICS since 2016. Click here to find out more about our story.

Does HomeLink Healthcare have its own workforce?

Yes, we have our own clinical workforce which consists of Registered Nurses, Allied Health professionals (AHPs) and Healthcare and Rehabilitation Support Workers. All staff have up to date DBS references.

We do not use agency staff.

In addition, we have a hugely experienced senior management team, a recruitment team, management information team and a dedicated mobilisation team who will onboard each service.

How does HomeLink Healthcare work with our NHS partners to understand local care needs and co-produce care pathways that meet their needs?

Our services start with discussion, a needs review, and a possible onsite assessment and feedback process to ensure that HomeLink Healthcare can add significant value to each NHS partner.

HomeLink Healthcare support this fact find with time limited test and learn pilots to ensure our services that can flex and ensure quality and efficiency with a view creating longer term solutions that are efficient and effective for you and your patients.

Click here to view an example we developed with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust.

How does HomeLink Healthcare collaborate with other care providers?

Our aim is to provide seamless, integrated care for patients. We have extensive experience of working with other care providers to ensure patient needs are met, without duplicating service provision. Each relationship with other providers will be unique. As with our partnerships, we have to be flexible to fit with other ways of working and treat each relationship on a case by case basis to ensure the best possible care for each patient.

What clinical conditions does HomeLink Healthcare treat?

HomeLink Healthcare services support and treat a range of clinical conditions, including and not limited to:

• Frailty
• Respiratory
• Orthopaedics
• General Medicine
• General Surgery
• Stroke/Neuro Rehab
• MSK Services
•  Cardiology

How does HomeLink Healthcare respond to clinical incidents?

The process of reporting and recording incidents is agreed during the mobilisation phase. All incidents are reported in our online system as well as the partnering organisation’s system. Incidents are discussed at monthly service meetings and any learnings are shared. Any CQC notifiable events are reported, investigated and fed back externally at the service review meetings as well as internally through our own quality and safety meetings.

Click here to view HomeLink Healthcare’s quality policy.

How can I submit a complaint about the service I have received from HomeLink Healthcare?

HomeLink Healthcare will use any comments, concerns or complaints as an opportunity to improve and develop our services ensuring that we learn and improve the standard of care that we provide to our patients. It sets out clear expectations to embed good practice and continual learning utilising a Just culture.

We recognise the importance of encouraging feedback from patients, carers and service users whilst learning from the feedback received. More information on how to submit a complaint can be found here.

How can I submit a comment, compliment or other feedback about HomeLink Healthcare?

Compliments and comments provide valuable feedback on how people receive the organisation’s services. Service users and carers will have received the opportunity to feedback to us via a patient satisfaction survey, either on paper or online.

Satisfaction surveys for each of our service can be found here.

If you would like to submit further feedback please contact

“Acute trusts don’t have the resource, infrastructure, we don’t have the ability set up a new service. We struggle to attract a flexible workforce. Our bank is saturated, we have the wrong skillset, and pressure points like winter, half term, school holidays. With HomeLink I am buying a service and they always deliver.”  

NHS partner feedback

“It means we have a trusted and experienced team supporting our elective patient pathway – this provides real peace of mind and their willingness to diversify and respond so quickly really has saved us from having to cancel operations so thank you HomeLink for stepping in and stepping up.”

Cursty Pepper, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“I’ve worked with a lot of providers and HomeLink Healthcare is a very professional organisation. Every member of my team has said how respectful and courteous the staff are. It has been a pleasure to work with partners who do exactly what they say they will.”

Jenny Ricketts, Director of Community Transformation, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

“HomeLink Healthcare liaise wit me regularly about patients that I have referred to them and are very prompt in their reply to questions or queries. Having them on board is a breath of fresh air.

Adeola Telesford, Highly Specialist Rehabilitation OT, Enabling Care Services, Lewisham

“We recognised we had a window of opportunity to put something in place that would support both our front-line teams and our patients without delaying discharges from our busy acute hospital sites. We achieved a safe, responsive and flexible service which meant patients received the ongoing support they needed.

Kelly Hudson, Associate Director for Urgent & Emergency Care Improvement, SE London CCG


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