Hospital at Home helps its 1,000th patient in Hambleton and Richmondshire

Julie and Reg Bentham with the Hospital at Home team.

A community team delivering hospital-level care to patients in the comfort of their own homes has reached a major milestone after helping its 1,000th patient.

The Hospital at Home service, working out of the Friarage Hospital, offers a hospital standard of community care in people’s own homes for frailer patients – people who are at the highest risk of poor health outcomes such as falls, long-term disability, admission to hospital, or the need for long-term care.

Since it was launched in January 2022, it has successfully been reducing hospital admissions while ensuring patients get the care they need from the right person, in the right place at the right time.

To date, 1000 Hambleton and Richmondshire patients have benefited from the service and over half of them have avoided hospital admission.

The team, led by consultants in older person’s medicine Vicky Ewan and Rachel Holt and GP Rebecca Owen, is made up of advanced clinical practitioners, nurses, healthcare assistants a physio and an occupational therapist.

They work alongside the UCR (urgent community response) team which aims to respond to patients in crisis in their own homes within two hours of referral. The team also has strong links with colleagues from liaison psychiatry and with the acute medical team at the Friarage.

Patients referred to the Hospital at Home service are monitored daily by the multidisciplinary team and are overseen by a GP or consultant.

Visits from the team are arranged as and when required to meet individual needs and most of the care is provided in the patient’s own home but with access to hospital-level tests when needed.

Rebecca Owen said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to be celebrating our 1000th patient, the service keeps going from strength to strength.

“We are aiming for care that we feel would be good enough for our mum or dad.

“We’re incredibly proud to have helped so many people avoid an unnecessary hospital admission through our patient-centred care.

“We hope thousands more patients benefit from our service in the future.”

James Dunbar, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s clinical collaborative chair for the Friarage and community services, added: “The Hospital at Home team in Hambleton and Richmondshire are doing a phenomenal job!

“Literally hundreds of frail elderly patients are being managed in the safety of their own homes when a few years ago they would have had prolonged hospital stays. What they are delivering is what I would want for my own loved ones.”


Julie and Reg’s story  

Julie Bentham and her husband Reg from Welbury were recently helped by the Hospital at Home team.

When Julie was taken to hospital after a nasty blackout, the team stepped in when carers thought Reg might also need hospital admission.

After basic tests and a discussion with Julie in hospital, the team assessed Reg and determined that he did not require hospital admission. The team then also cared for Julie and completed her investigations out of hospital where she could care for Reg who has dementia.

Julie said: “The Hospital at Home team were fantastic; they were really reassuring – they couldn’t have been more caring.”

Karen Smith clinical service lead for UCR, Hospital at Home and same-day emergency care at the Friarage, added: “The team are working exceptionally hard to provide this gold-standard service for our local population.

“The service continues to develop and identify further ways of reducing the need for hospital admission and ensuring our patients can remain in their preferred place of care.

“The 1000th patient is an amazing achievement and we are very proud of each and every member of the team.”