From October 2020, HomeLink Healthcare have provided additional capacity to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUHT), preventing cancellations of elective surgery by offering Covid-19 screening at home. HomeLink Healthcare has delivered a new pre-elective Covid screening pathway for housebound patients, helping NHS hospitals and Trusts avoid financial penalties from surgeries being cancelled and further reducing inequalities in access to care. This case study shows how capacity challenges were overcome, whilst accessibility and patient flow were improved, with rapid responsiveness and time-critical precision.
As part of the third phase of the NHS response to Covid-19, there is a requirement to restore and recover NHS services, whilst overcoming increased demands and capacity constraints. The need for patients to be screened for Covid and then self-isolate 72 hours prior to elective hospital admission is critical to ensuring that elective surgery can go ahead as planned.
NHS Trusts need to accelerate the return of non-Covid health services, which will help address the growing waiting lists for elective procedures. Therefore, it is imperative to overcome any challenges with capacity, accessibility and flow. Housebound patients are unable to get to Covid testing sites which is where HomeLink Healthcare can help.
Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUHT) asked HomeLink Healthcare to provide urgent additional capacity for Covid home testing, to prevent cancellations in elective surgery. Rapid mobilisation enabled quick, accurate and responsive results. HomeLink Healthcare set up a fully functioning home testing service within 6 days, including training the clinical team to Trust standards.
Recognised as ‘the most esteemed accolade of healthcare service excellence in the UK’, HomeLink Healthcare were finalists for an HSJ Award for their partnership work with the NNUHT making them trusted partners with a proven track record.
Helps prevent cancellation of elective surgeries
Reduces inequalities in access to care
Maximises community capacity available and improves patient flow
Smart logistics and scheduling tools provide real time data and deployment
Fully integrated with existing systems and services
Reduces risk of financial penalties
Enhanced management as patients have confirmation of a 1 hour time slot
Clinical team trained to Trust standards
Overcoming issues of patient flow for the maximum elective activity possible. HomeLink Healthcare added an additional pathway to the core service delivering Covid testing in the community for housebound patients prior to pre-elective surgery.
To manage logistics and increase availability, HomeLink Healthcare called patients in advance and agreed a one-hour window for testing. This resolved the challenges reported by community teams of the patient not being at home on the agreed day.
To maximise responsiveness, HomeLink Healthcare used real-time data and analytics to provide same day reporting back to the Hospital Trust.
Smart logistics and specialist support provided the time-critical level of precision and quality required. The availability of tests across the whole CCG area helped reduce inequalities in access to care. By providing Covid testing at home, HomeLink Healthcare prevented surgeries being cancelled at the last minute. This has a financial impact on the Trust avoiding penalties for not meeting targets in elective cases.
This also increased capacity for the NNUHT team to focus on other important work, in the confidence that this service is being efficiently managed.
Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, some patients may have been waiting longer than usual to access elective services. Being able to plan and maintain scheduled appointments is imperative to patient’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Jonny Lim, HomeLink Healthcare Project Manager, concluded: “We want to support the NHS Trusts, hospitals, and patients during this challenging time. This was a great example of how additional capacity, accessibility and patient flow can be deployed quickly, safely and reliably by our clinical team. It was excellent knowing that life-changing procedures could go ahead as planned and seeing the positive benefit this had on the patient’s lives, as well as the teams involved.
HomeLink Healthcare delivers hospital-based patient services at home, making healthcare systems more flexible, efficient and cost-effective. We provide expert face to face nursing and therapeutic care combined with new technologies to improve patient flow.
HomeLink Healthcare has clinical teams available immediately to assist NHS, CCGs, Community teams and private hospitals.
HomeLink Healthcare’s AHPs Team and Lewisham Adult Therapy Team are finalists for a CAHPO Award 2022.Read more
A recent feasibility assessment concluded that implementing Hospital at Home services would free up significant numbers of inpatient beds.Read more
Read about the benefits of admission avoidance to patients.Read more
Patients are assessed by a HomeLink Healthcare physiotherapist in the care home within 72 hours of admission and start receiving physiotherapy and re-ablement immediately.Read more
Intensive physiotherapy at home can dramatically improve patient outcomes, shorten waiting lists and reduce care costs by over 65%.Read more