Nurses are at the heart of clinical home care provision, a white paper by healthcare provider Healthcare at Home has stated.
Building the case for clinical care in the home at scale, was launched in the Houses of Parliament on 29 October to highlight how clinical homecare could help to address two of the key challenges facing the NHS today: quality of patient care and a better experience for patients.
Nurses were highlighted as key components of clinical homecare delivering services for cancer, dementia and palliative care. They were identified as being ‘critical for service delivery and invaluable to the patients receiving care’.
Kate de Lord, the head of cancer at Healthcare at Home, said that the cancer service treated 60,000 people last year. ‘Patients are usually referred by a hospital consultant after they have had one or two treatments in hospital. We then continue the treatments in the patients home while keeping in constant contact with the hospital consultant to update on the patients progress.’
Ms de Lord said that it 'comes back to being a capacity issue for the hospitals'. The cancer service is able to treat patients, where it is appropriate, in their homes to free up space for the patients that require treatment in hospital.
Susan Cooper, the clinical lead for chemotherapy services, said that most patients prefer to be treated in the comfort of their own home and it cuts down on the stress of traveling to and home from hospital and juggling daily life duties.
The inquiry was launched, as there was no specific mention of clinical homecare included in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, despite many of the clinical homecare models meeting the requirements of the new models of care laid out in the document.
The inquiry was carried out by an expert panel including members from the NHS Confederation, Kinds College Hospital, NHS England and Macmillan Cancer Support.