Thank you to relatives who are helping loved ones to leave hospital

A huge thank you is being sent to relatives who are playing a critical role in helping loved ones to leave hospital.

As health and social care services continue to be stretched due to the exceptional pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and seasonal impact of winter, the role of relatives in supporting patients is increasingly vital.

Relatives play a key role in enabling patients who are medically ready to leave hospital to do so, helping them to recover more quickly in the comfort of their own home and better help the NHS manage pressures on their services.

This could include providing some personal care for their relatives in their home, including looking after them during the initial period after they have left hospital.

People are making a real difference by supporting with shopping, administering medication, changing dressings, meal preparation, checking on their welfare and wellbeing and having regular contact with them particularly following discharge from hospital.

Dr Forbes Watson, a Dorset GP and Chair of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Relatives who care for their loved ones in helping them to leave hospital when they are medically able play such an important and valued role.

“We’d like to thank all of those relatives who are caring for their family members in this way – it’s helping them to recover at home more quickly than remaining in hospital.

“As well as relatives, the support and kindness of friends and neighbours to help people recover in their own community is also incredibly valuable. Thank you.”

Reflecting on the pressures on hospitals over the winter period, Dr Tristan Richardson, medical director for medicine at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We need to work with families to help support their loved ones when they leave our hospitals. We thank everyone involved with the ongoing care of our patients as we know what a difference it makes for their recovery and health to be able to safely leave our hospitals when ready.”

Councillor Peter Wharf, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, said: “When residents are well enough to leave hospital and cannot leave, it can have such a detrimental effect on their wellbeing.

“This is compared to recovering in their own homes where with a little help from family and friends, they can feel so much better and it can lead to a successful recovery.

“Residents have done amazing things for each other over the last few years and such help is invaluable, not only to those coming out of hospital but it then allows a bed to be used by the next patient for treatment, which helps everyone.”

Councillor Karen Rampton, Portfolio Holder for People and Homes, BCP Council, said: “We welcome the continued support offered by friends and families in helping their loved ones to settle back home following a hospital admission.

“It’s a great help when they can recover in their own home in familiar surroundings with family, friend and neighbour networks close by. Pressures continue in the health and social care system and any ongoing support that can be offered is very welcome.”

Relatives are being signposted to resources to help assist them if they are supporting loved ones once they have been discharged from hospital. These include:

Dorset Council area:

Helping you to settle back into your home after a hospital stay | Our Dorset Adult Social Care and Community Site (dorsetcouncil.gov.uk)

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