Release in-patient bed capacity this winter with Hospital at Home services

Thought leadership Virtual ward, Reablement & physio, Partnerships 02nd Aug 2023

The case for Hospital at Home services is compelling. Seasonal resilience funding is often seen as a one-off. Why not use it to work with an experienced provider which has a track record of delivering results for the NHS and for patients. HomeLink Healthcare can also help with business planning now. This will speed up the process of delivery once funding is released.  

According to the Delivery Plan for Urgent and Emergency Services the winter crisis of 2022 saw hospitals fuller than pre-pandemic levels, with 19 out of every 20 beds occupied and 7.2 million patients on waiting lists. In January 2023, nearly 14,000 beds were occupied by patients who were fit to be discharged.  

This winter is expected to see similar challenges. With bed occupancy rates over 90%, hospitals are increasingly looking towards Hospital at Home services to free up beds ahead of winter. 

The case for Hospital at Home services is compelling

"Boosting care in the community and treating more people at home is key to recovery – it is better for patients and their families, as well as easing pressure on NHS services."
- Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Executive

NHS England sees Hospital at Home and Virtual Wards as a key solution to improving patient flow through A&E and reducing elective recovery waiting lists. According to statistics patients are five times less likely to acquire an infection and eight times less likely to experience functional decline on a Virtual Ward compared to an acute setting. Twenty-three per cent of these patients also achieve a more independent social care outcome. 

HomeLink Healthcare provides Hospital at Home services through a number of pathways including Early Supported Discharge, Discharge to Assess, Virtual Wards, Reablement, Rehabilitation, Anticipatory Care, and Bridging Packages of Care. 

Seasonal resilience funding can relieve the pressures and build a case for future roll-out 

As Hospital at Home services become more established, and increasing numbers of patients are seen at home, savings can be made through introducing fewer hospital beds and outsourcing less elective care procedures to the private sector.  

Setting up a Hospital at Home service doesn’t need to be difficult

A Hospital at Home service requires expert knowledge; integration with existing governance structures; staffing; and in the case of Virtual Wards, technology. We understand that this can be quite daunting, particularly at a time of such immense pressure.  

That is where HomeLink Healthcare comes in.  

  • EXPERTISE IN HOSPITAL AT HOME: We are 100% focused on delivering Hospital at Home services and have been since 2016. We have numerous clients and we deliver services in four of the seven NHS England regions. 
  • COMMITMENT TO QUALITY: We are clinician-run and everything we do is patient-centric. Our clients see us as ‘NHS like’ and in our most recent client survey we received 100% client satisfaction. 
  • NO NEED TO RECRUIT: We bring with us a multi-disciplinary team of compassionate, patient-focused nurses, therapists and healthcare support workers. 
  • TECH, OR NO TECH, NO PROBLEM: If you’re interested in a Virtual Ward, we can provide our own technology partner, or work with your existing technology supplier. 
  • FAST, EFFECTIVE MOBILISATION OF SERVICES: Services can be procured directly using the NHS Shared Business Services Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Beds Services Framework. We use a PRINCE 2 project management approach, supported by a dedicated project manager and can get brand new services up and running within 12 weeks.  
  • WE WORK IN PARTNERSHIP: We bring our expertise and tried and tested ways of working and at the same time treat each relationship on a case-by-case basis. We have been shortlisted for three HSJ Partnership awards.  
  • REAL-TIME DATA: Advanced KPI reporting enables clients to see what is happening in real-time and share best practice. Data includes patients, visits, outcome measures and patient experience metrics 

We can help you to increase hospital discharges in time for winter

HomeLink Healthcare can get a brand new service up and running within 12 weeks. This means that if you act now, you can have new pathways in place by winter 2023/24.  

No funding yet? Don’t let that stop you from contacting us!

We know that funding for winter is on its way but that you might not know how much you will receive. To avoid unnecessary delay, and to make things easier for you during the procurement phase, our staff can carry out a no-obligation feasibility assessment now. The outputs from this can also be used to help pull together a business case. After funding levels have been agreed, we can adjust the numbers accordingly.  

View our case studies:

  • Last year we implemented new Bridging Packages of Care and Reablement pathways in Buckinghamshire. Discussions started in the summer before funding was in place, and the service commenced on 1 December 2022. The service saved 951 bed days its first 18 weeks. Read more here 
  • A patient in Norfolk gets home in time for Christmas thanks to the Virtual Ward. Read more here  
  • Hospital at Home services in Norfolk and Waveney save the equivalent of two hospital wards every day. Read more here.  

Work with us

Find out more about the process of commissioning HomeLink Healthcare to set up a hospital at home service.

Get in touch

To speak to a member of our team about our services, call us on (020) 3137 5370 or contact us. You can tell us about your situation, and we can tell you more about our experience of supporting our NHS partners and how we might be able to help you. 


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