Better use of mobility equipment would accelerate hospital discharge rates

AAT powered stairclimber

Utilising and reusing mobility equipment that allows patients to get back in their homes holds the key to accelerating hospital discharge rates and getting the best out of a multi-billion government programme to support the NHS.

That’s according to powered stairclimber specialist AAT, which believes hospital discharge rates could be improved if the latest equipment is properly deployed.

“One of the main reasons for delay in discharge is ensuring an appropriate home environment, with the necessary care and support in place,” said AAT director Peter Wingrave.

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“Anyone involved in the delivery of social care is only too aware already of the impact of delay, and how current procedures and processes take time to implement. The Hospital Discharge Service Policy & Operating Model highlighted that many people only need support for some six weeks.

“Something as simple as appreciating and properly utilising equipment often already available can accelerate hospital discharge, often without any additional expenditure.”

Last week the government announced a £7 billion funding package for health and care services to support the Covid-19 response, which is intended to help the hospital discharge programme.

Mr Wingrave said that one of the usual reasons for delay is whether a patient will have the mobility or breath to be able to get upstairs to access their bedroom or bathroom.

However, products such as the S-Max stairclimber that AAT offers can eliminate those problems in a cost-effective way. Most local authorities already have at least one in their inventory and they can also be returned to stores, cleaned, and re-issued when no longer required, he said.

“Everybody wins in delivering safe and efficient hospital discharge,” says Wingrave. “The patient can get home, freeing bed space. The home environment is safe for them to access. The kit is usually already available in stores. Even if one has to be purchased, the authority makes best use of funding, because it can be re-issued time and again. Therefore the authority is able to help many people for less capital cost.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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