The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn is seeking to encourage recovery at home, to help free up beds. This comes against a background of growing NHS waiting times, and strikes by nurses and ambulance staff.
The hospital is calling on families and friends of patients to help them by supporting their ‘Home for Christmas’ campaign, and at the same time supporting the efforts in creating bed capacity at QEH to assist with patient flow through the winter months.
Recovery at home
The hospital says the benefits of continuing recovery at home, in a more familiar and relaxed environment, are obvious. At this time of year no-one should be unnecessarily stuck on a hospital ward if they can be home enjoying Christmas Day with loved ones.
“Home for Christmas is all about putting patients first by prioritising the services and activities that support safe and timely care and being responsive to delays and pressures in the system.
“As a Trust we’re providing support to every ward in the hospital to help identify and overcome problems and to see what support is needed to smooth the patient pathway to ensure there are no delays in getting them ‘Home for Christmas’.
“We’re asking friends and family to join us in our Home for Christmas campaign and do everything they can to assist in getting their loved ones home for Christmas.”
QEH hopes that, by taking these steps, it will reduce some of the predicted pressure on the NHS.
The situation at QEH is not unique. The plan announced by the Government in September for 13,000 additional beds to help reduce pressure on the NHS does not come close to replacing the 25,000 beds cut by the Conservatives since 2011. But it does address the need to prevent backlogs in Accident and Emergency.