Health Technologies

Scottish Government commits £3.6 million to Hospital at Home programme – htn

The Scottish Government has announced an additional £3.6 million in funding for 2024/25 to support the Hospital at Home service for older people.

This latest announcement brings the total funding allocated to Hospital at Home to more than £15 million since 2020, with the health secretary, Neil Gray, commenting on the increasing popularity of the service as a care alternative for elderly patients “to receive acute treatment in a place they feel comfortable and familiar with”.

Figures from April 2023 to March 2024 show that the number of patients managed by the service increasing by 24 percent from 11,686 patients in the previous 12 months to 14,467 patients, making it the “eighth biggest hospital” for elderly inpatients.

The number of occupied bed days within the Hospital at Home service also increased by 52 percent, although a report by Healthcare Improvement Scotland notes that a change to the way bed days are measured for “greater accuracy” may mean that this figure is likely to be underreported.

Neil added: “Hospital at Home gives people greater independence during their recovery process. Evidence shows that those benefitting from the service are more likely to avoid hospital or care home stays for up to six months after an acute illness. It is also one of a range of measures that we have put in place to tackle delayed discharge numbers and free up beds within our hospitals.”

According to Belinda Robertson, associate director of improvement for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the additional funding will help to boost access to Hospital at Home, and make the service more sustainable.

To find out more about the Hospital at Home service in Scotland, please click here.

In other news from Scotland, following the publication of Scotland’s digital strategy in 2021, a report has been released summarising progress made around commitments such as improving connectivity, building digital skills and changing the culture of public service organisations to ensure resilience, accessibility and ease of use.

In the UK, NHS England has shared plans to increase virtual ward use with NHSE correspondence sent to every local hospital and health system setting out actions hoped to increase urgent and emergency care performance, including plans for a new virtual wards operational framework and funding incentives to support front door services and flow through emergency departments.



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