Home is often the best place to receive care and recover from illness, and the newly launched Home Team service in Invercargill means more patients will be able to be cared for at home rather than in hospital. Those already in hospital who are medically well enough to leave will also be able to go home sooner and continue their recovery there with ongoing support.
The Home Team provides appropriate and coordinated support to patients through a team of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and rehabilitation assistants supporting discharge from hospital and continuing support once at home, as well as providing support to those still at home to prevent admission to hospital.
Southern DHB Executive Director Strategy, Primary and Community Lisa Gestro says the DHB is delighted to launch the new Home Team service in Invercargill following the launch of the service in Dunedin in December.
“It’s a great example of the Primary and Community Care Strategy in action and is a truly patient focused initiative. It values our patient’s time, and supports people to stay at home, if that is the right place for them to be by bringing health care services to where patients live and better integrating services and providers across the health system. These include specialist care, general practice, home care, district nursing, rehabilitation services, pharmacy, needs assessment, ED and inpatient wards.”
Patients under the care of the Home Team will receive all the care and support they need from the team for up to two weeks, and those requiring support and services longer term will be referred to other community services and providers. Through ‘skill-sharing’, any team member will be able to provide core services and support to ensure that patients’ needs are met with one provider where possible.
“Patients recover quicker when they are in the familiar surroundings of their own home and have a much greater chance of regaining their independence,” says Southern DHB Nursing Director, Strategy, Primary and Community Sally O’Connor.
“Home is more comfortable and familiar. At home, patients are likely to get up and be more active than in hospital meaning less loss of mobility, fitness and muscle strength. The calmer environment of home also helps recovery.”
In Invercargill the service will be available five days a week from 0800 – 1800hrs. All referrals will have access to a dedicated 0800 number.
The Home Team service ties in with other initiatives to support older people to return home, and stay well at home including Home as my First Choice, the ‘Sit up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving,’ initiative and the Live Stronger for Longer programme.
*Photo left to right: Lucy Noble, Occupational Therapist; Joanne Hackett, Allied Health Assistant; Christine Hart, Registered Nurse; Sherwyn Parmenter, Registered Nurse and Sanjeewa Perera, Allied Health Assistant (absent - Emma Smith, Registered Nurse)