Senior Woman Sitting In Chair And Laughing With Nurse

Government funding for care alternatives

The Scottish Government has announced that investment is continuing to provide older people with hospital alternatives.

Investment worth £3.6 million is being put into the Hospital at Home for Older People programme, which allows people to be treated in a safe alternative to a hospital, as funding since 2020 comes to more than £15 million.

Neil Gray, Scottish Health Secretary, commented:

“These figures from HIS show that Hospital at Home is becoming an increasingly popular care alternative for elderly patients to receive acute treatment in a place they feel comfortable and familiar with.

“There are more Hospital at Home beds available and an increasing number of patients choosing to use the service.

“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 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.”

Hospital at home graphic

According to statistics from Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the programme exceeded targets across numerous key areas last year. These include:

  • A 57% increase in total bed numbers, beating the Scottish Government’s target of 50%
  • Being used by 14,467 patients, up from the 11,686 that used it in the previous 12 months
  • Hospital at Home now being the eight biggest ‘hospital’ for older people emergency inpatients in Scotland.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Associate Director of Improvement, Belinda Robertson, added:

“This announcement of additional funding will continue to improve access to Hospital at Home services and make them more sustainable to the benefit of patients across Scotland. It’s heartening to see that Hospital at Home services prevented over 14,400 people spending time in hospital over the past year.

“Moreover, with our support we’ve witnessed more NHS boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships embracing Hospital at Home by establishing and developing services.

“We look forward to continuing to help services develop and share learning in the year ahead.”


Image credit: iStock


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