Home from hospital

Make sure older people return home from hospital as soon as they no longer need hospital care, with the right support in place.

What we have achieved so far:

  • launched ‘Home first’, a new way of working across all of our hospitals, helping to get patients home as soon as they are well by providing support at home
  • 1500 patients have returned home from hospital up to two days earlier through 'Home first'.

We will continue to:

  • make sure older people who need extra support are seen at home within two hours of leaving hospital, so their needs are properly assessed and right support put in place
  • never delay getting a patient home because of a hold-up over paperwork – we will get them home, and then sort out the red-tape. 

It is better for people because:

  • people who are fit to leave hospital could be back home three days earlier on average
  • older people who get home as soon as they no longer need hospital care recover better, and are less likely to go back into hospital.
  • older people are less likely to catch an infection, fall or get pressure ulcers at home than in hospital.

It is better for the health and care system because:

  • older people will have a better overall recovery and experience.
  • hospitals will run more smoothly, including scheduled operations and emergency care
  • it is more effective to provide the support patients actually need at home to recover, rather than trying to fit them into existing standard packages and procedures.

Key facts:

  • a third of patients in a hospital bed today, are medically fit to leave the ward
  • every day an older person stays in a hospital bed, they can lose 10 per cent of their muscle strength
  • for people with mental health conditions or diseases like Alzheimers, longer stays in hospital can increase confusion.

Expected outcomes:

  • older people will spend less time in a hospital bed
  • hospitals will run more smoothly, including scheduled operations and emergency care
  • more effective spend on care packages
  • fewer older people will need to move to a care home, rather than back home.


A recent survey by the Care Quality Commission into patient satisfaction with their stay in hospital (published May 2017) found:

  • twenty-one per cent of people in 2016, compared to 18 per cent in 2015, said they were not offered enough support from health or social care professionals to manage their condition after discharge
  • just over half (56 per cent) felt definitely involved in decisions about their treatment, which is 3 percentage points lower than the previous year
  • just over a third (36 per cent) of people said they did not receive enough information when leaving the hospital, an increase of 2 percentage points since last year.