Medical advances have resulted in many patients being able to perform their nutrition therapies at home, either by themselves or with the support of family or a homecare nursing team.
Prior to discharge a care plan will have been agreed. This will include your training or nursing support. Some patients will be trained in hospital; others will receive training in their own surroundings and the remainder will stay with the home nursing team long term.
Patients’ may find that care needs will change according to their individual requirements over time.
No matter how your needs are met, either by yourself or with support from the home nursing team you will find that it all requires dedication and skill and that there are no short cuts.
The degree of support available to home-patients from hospitals varies considerably - some hospitals have only one patient, others have many. Our aim is to offer support to patients from people who truly understand - fellow patients.
We endeavour to encourage patients to reach their own goals thus reaching a quality of life set by each individual. Being at home is where the majority of people want to be, which has the added bonus of freeing-up hospital beds.
Acceptance of the therapy and adaptation to life at home will vary from patient to patient, and is bound to take time to adjust and settle in with everything that now needs to be done, but in time and often with support from those around you, you will find this becomes more routine and easier to manage and achieve an acceptable standard of living.
Nobody is trying to pretend there aren’t problems - after all, it is not that long ago, it would have been considered inconceivable to provide these therapies anywhere else but in a controlled hospital environment.
One of the major problems is that outwardly most patients look quite well, and therefore other people have no idea of the difficulties they face. Also we need to bear in mind that each patient is an individual and have personal goals and aspirations.
Conversely, the patient is never free from reminders of their treatment and their whole life can begin to revolve around their therapy.
Hospital to Home
‘Going home’ is a complex procedure which has to be properly planned. There needs to be a structured and smooth transition from hospital to home care.
The end point should be a confident patient, effectively managing their treatment to suit their lifestyle, with their clinician retaining full clinical control. Access to effective support mechanisms is an essential aspect of building and maintaining confidence.
You should be provided with details of what to do in the event of a problem developing and this should be gone through thoroughly with you in order to reassure you and build your confidence.
In today’s NHS, home therapy patients are more and more frequently supported by specialist homecare companies. These are independent providers who (working in partnership with NHS Trusts) have built up considerable expertise in moving patients into the community who require complex, life-sustaining therapies.
Through regular servicing and maintenance, they will be responsible for maintaining your equipment and ensuring that it is operating correctly. Additionally they will provide you with a list of contact numbers so that you can get in touch at any time of the day or night, should you have any problems with any of the equipment they have provided. They will ensure that you receive immediate replacements of anything that is not working as your health is dependent on this treatment.
It is important to remember that despite the complexity involved in this treatment and the transition from the hospital environment to your home environment, in time it does become easier and far more routine. There are many people who successfully manage this type of treatment at home on a daily basis without serious complications and there is support available to you and your family, from your care team at the hospital, community nurse, homecare companies, PINNT and fellow patients.