Nursing Opinion

Person Centred Approach is all About Advocacy

Ann Taylor, CEO, Hilton Nursing Partners

Imagine a situation where an important life decision was taken away from you. Many of us couldn’t image someone else making a decision about how we live our lives, and certainly not without consultation, but it happens and it is happening every day to our elderly.

When Hilton Nursing Partners launched its revolutionary Home to Decide™ service it was as a direct result of avoiding such helpless situations arising from an acute hospital stay.

For most of us we control any interaction we have with healthcare professionals. But what if you are elderly, are admitted to hospital, and considered high risk?

It starts with an unscheduled hospital stay, perhaps you live alone and you are considered a risk to yourself, or perhaps those you live with are considered to be lacking the capacity to look after you. Assessment for a nursing home placement will be more than likely, thus sealing an individual’s fate.

From there you don’t go home and pack, you go straight into care!

At this stage one can only imagine what must be going through the minds of those faced with this situation. Did I lock the front door? What about my friends and neighbours? Who will look after my pet? What about my belongings? The food in the fridge. Imagine the absolute feeling of helplessness!

Can I come home?

Hilton Nursing Partners understand that communication with patients and their families is vital. Helping patients who’ve been identified as needing to be discharged to a residential setting but want to return home is a key part of their service.

Throughout this period of recovery a nurse-led team works closely with the patient and their family to understand individual needs. The decision about whether patients can remain at home isn’t made until after two weeks of high-level care from a multi-disciplinary team, led by a Nurse, including Healthcare Assistants and an Occupational Therapist.

Throughout this period of recovery all parties have the time to decide whether residential care is or isn’t required, providing time to put the relevant plans and support networks in place.

Vulnerability can come from a number of places, perhaps an illness or loss of capacity to do the things you were once able to do. We have found that by working with the patient, medical teams, social services, family and friends, and social care commissioners that a person centred strategy of care and community integration is a solution with very positive outcomes. Sometimes all a person needs is a supportive hand and a network they can rely on to help them make their own informed decisions. This is what we do.

Feedback and outcomes from patients lucky enough to be offered this service has been extremely positive. One very satisfied customer, Mrs H comments on her recent experience: “I have never been in this sort of situation before, it was comforting and encouraging to have the support.  Having returned home after a hospital admission, and feeling utterly confused, two wonderful Hilton ladies arrived and took charge. Every day it was a joy to see each and every one of them.  I found everyone really helpful and happy to help me. Thank you all for the help you gave me.”

The Home to Decide™ service has been highlighted as an example of good practice by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and is designed to avoid debilitating hospital stays through person centred daily assessment and personal care delivered by qualified and experienced nurses.



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