Letting patients know “we’re with you all the way”

People who are being cared for in the hospitals run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) are being given a new leaflet designed to spark conversations to help smooth their journey home after treatment.

Called “We’re with you all the way”, the leaflet is packed full of information to help patients and staff work together to begin planning an individual’s discharge from the very start of their admission. Its aim is to make sure that all of the necessary arrangements are put in place at any early stage so that patients can return home as soon as they are medically fit, in turn helping them recover more quickly.

ESNEFT chair Helen Taylor said: “We are proud of this fantastic new resource, which will be given to every inpatient on their admission so that we can start to have a very different conversation with them and their carers about their return home.

“The booklet has a warm and friendly tone and is clear and easy to understand. We hope that it will reassure patients that they will continue to receive support from the health and care system where necessary while they continue their recovery outside of hospital.”

The booklet explains how health and care partners will work together to boost patients’ recovery beyond their hospital stay, and covers topics such as transport, medication, follow up appointments and services available in the community. It also signposts who to call with any concerns, and where family and carers can go for additional support.

In addition, it gives patients pointers about the questions they should be asking staff, such as what will happen to them that day and when will they go home. It also explains what they can expect from health and care services, which includes being given all of the information they need and a named individual to coordinate their discharge.

Giles Thorpe, ESNEFT’s chief nurse, said: “We know that nobody wants to stay in hospital for any longer than is necessary, but at the same time we appreciate that some patients may feel anxious about leaving our care. We hope that this booklet will help by explaining exactly what to expect and reassuring people that the health and care system will continue to work closely together to look after them, even after they have returned home.

“It will also act as an important tool for our staff to start talking to patients early in their admission so that we can work with our partners to put any extra support they may need in place.”

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